Oh-my-zsh is an open source, community-driven framework for managing zsh and it is FREE. It has more than 180 optional plugin (rails, git, …) and more than 120 theme for your Terminal and an auto-update tool to keep oh-my-zsh up-to-date.

In this tutorial, I will guide you to install it on your PC/laptop. The great thing about this is that you can customize your Terminal, add plugins. Unlike the bashrc, which does not look attractive and can make it difficult for you to use when working on large IT projects.


  • Linux or Mac OSX because Oh-my-zsh works best on Unix-based OS
  • zsh must be pre-installed. In Mac OSX, it is already pre-installed. On Linux, you will need to type command in the Terminal to install:

For Debian/Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install zsh

For Fedora:

$ sudo yum install zsh
  • curl or wget must be installed.

Install oh-my-zsh

  • via curl
$ curl -L https://raw.github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh | sh
  • via wget
$ wget https://raw.github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh -O - | sh

Change default shell

$ chsh -s /bin/zsh

For some OS, you may need to restart your computer for this to take effect.

Change Terminal theme

Now you have successfully installed oh-my-zsh. You will need to change the theme that is suitable for you, instead of using the default one. To change it, you will need to modify the .zshrc file:

$ cd
$ vim .zshrc

In this tutorial, I use vim text editor, you can use other text editor if you like. Next, locate this line in the file:


Change the name “robbyrussell” to another name of another theme. You can have a look of all the available themes on this website.

Finally, just restart the Terminal and you will see the difference.

Add plugins

In the .zshrc file, you add this line to it to enable the plugins

plugins=(git bundler osx rake ruby)

You can add more or remove plugins if you like. To use the plugins, most of them have README file, which documents how to use them.

Updating oh-my-zsh

It will update automatically, but if you want to do so manually just simply type this command in Terminal:

$ upgrade_oh_my_zsh

For more information about oh-my-zsh, you can have a look at this website.

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