Make Linux terminal great again (Terminator + Oh My ZSH + autosuggestions + highlighting + Agnoster theme + powerline fonts + solarized colors)

6 minute read

The terminal is part of every software developer’s life. The terminal carries out routine tasks. Most Linux programs have only console interface. If you have a good terminal you can forget about a boring graphical interface. :)


However, the default terminal is like an old typewriter. It doesn’t have autosuggestions, autocorrect, highlighting. Let’s fix it.

Install Terminator

Well, to start with we are going to update your terminal emulator. We will use Terminator instead of gnome-terminal. Terminator has appearance settings, hotkeys, text search, arrange terminals in a grid.

sudo apt-get install terminator

Install Zsh

Next, we will update our Unix shell. We will use zsh instead of bash. Zsh has autocorrection, history search, plugins, improved bash language.

sudo apt-get install zsh

Zsh should be set as your default shell:

chsh -s $(which zsh)

Restart your terminal. You should see the configuration menu of zsh and choose option 2: Populate your ~/.zshrc with the configuration recommended by the system administrator and exit


Don’t forget to move your configuration and aliases from .bashrc to .zshrc: image-title-here

Install Oh My Zsh

Oh my zsh is a framework for managing your zsh. It adds a lot of helper functions, plugins, themes.

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Install Powerline fonts

We need these fonts to show Unicode chars in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install fonts-powerline

Change theme to Agnoster

You need to change ZSH_THEME="robbyrussell" to ZSH_THEME="agnoster" in your .zshrc

Restart your terminal.

Install Solarized color

Next, we will install the color palette for the terminal.

git clone git:// ~/.solarized
cd ~/.solarized

Choose option 1 (dark theme). Then choose option 1 to download dircolors-solarized. After installation, open .zshrc and add the line:

eval `dircolors ~/.dir_colors/dircolors`

Then we need to activate just installed color palette: In your terminator right click on the terminal

Preferences>Profiles>Colors>Foreground and Background>Built-in schemes: Solarized dark

Preferences>Profiles>Colors>Palette>Built-in schemes: Solarized


Restart Terminator. You should see something like this:


Oh My Zsh plugins


Autosuggestions work using your zsh history. This greatly increases your typing speed.

git clone ${ZSH_CUSTOM:-~/.oh-my-zsh/custom}/plugins/zsh-autosuggestions

Add the plugin to the list of plugins for Oh My Zsh to load (inside ~/.zshrc): plugins=(zsh-autosuggestions)


Press the right arrow to use the suggestion.

Remove hostname

The username takes some space of your terminal. We’ll remove this. Add this line to your ~/.zshrc

prompt_context() {} 


Now it looks more compact.

Syntax highlighting

git clone
echo "source ${(q-)PWD}/zsh-syntax-highlighting/zsh-syntax-highlighting.zsh" >> ${ZDOTDIR:-$HOME}/.zshrc



This plugin for vim fans. Add vi-mode to your plugins array. Press esc to switch to normal mode.

My .zshrc

You can find the latest version of my .zshrc in my repository:


We built a beautiful terminal with autosuggestions, autocorrect, highlighting, hotkeys and vim as an input method. The terminal has a potential for further development.