Trying out Z Shell

1 minute read

Three things convinced me to give Z Shell a try.

  1. Destroy all Software
  2. Railscasts #308
  3. Oh My ZSH

Destroy All Software

In the first DAS episode (Statistics Over Git Repositories) Gary Bernhardt walks us through the creation of a bash script that magically pulls information out of a git repository. He mentions almost offhandedly that he uses Z Shell for his terminal but writes shell scripts in BASH for greater compatibility.

What? Z Shell? Programmers out there really use something other than BASH? Maybe he’s just an odd guy out. (Nope.)

Railscasts #308

In Railscasts #308 Ryan Bates talks us through switching from BASH to Z Shell. He doesn’t even make the case for switching in the show lead, he just says that he’ll show us how to easily switch.

As Rails developers, we frequently use the command line. Here I will show how to switch to Z Shell using Oh My ZSH including how to make your own theme and plugins. — Ryan Bates

“That’s it?” I thought. “That’s the case? We ‘frequently use the command line’”? Is Z Shell just obviously superior to BASH? (Yep.)


Oh My ZSH is highlighted in Railscasts 308 for a reason. It’s awesome! I didn’t switch to ZSH; I switched to Oh My ZSH.

OMZSH is everything. It handles the installation and switch to ZSH, is a one stop for ZSH configuration, manages plugins and themes, and provides a framework for building customizations into ZSH.

I’ve written three personal plugins for Oh My ZSH since switching a few days ago. I’m already noticing that my shell interactions are much more efficient and pleasant.

In an upcoming post I’ll detail my experiences and drop some plugin goodness. In the meantime, watch Railscasts #308 if you want to see ZSH in action.

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