Ultimate way to beautify Mac terminal (oh-my-zsh) and plugin recommendations

Ultimate way to beautify Mac terminal (oh-my-zsh) and plugin recommendations

If you are using Mac as development machine, Terminal.app must be one of the most used apps. Terminal might be not fancy to begin with, but you can totally make it more elegant and fancy if you follow with me.

We will be doing these for our Terminal

  1. Install Terminal Profile: Customize Terminal Color
  2. Install oh-my-zsh: Use powerful zsh for Terminal, instead of shell
  3. Install oh-my-zsh themes: Beautify oh-my-zsh
  4. Instal oh-my-zsh must-have plugins: Get more advanced and convenient features for Terminal


Recommend to install homebrew first:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Install zsh if you are on macOS version prior to Catalina:

# Install zsh
brew install zsh
# Set zsh as your default shell
chsh -s /usr/local/bin/zsh

Install Terminal Profile

  1. Go to osx-terminal-theme and download your favorite theme in scheme folder
  2. Double click the theme file to install and set as default

Feel free to use my Terminal Profile if you would like to try: https://gist.github.com/tonyxu-io/6b845cb1a53622eb4f1ce4063365e427

Install oh-my-zsh

Oh My Zsh is a delightful, open source, community-driven framework for managing your Zsh configuration. It comes bundled with thousands of helpful functions, helpers, plugins, themes, and a few things that make you shout…

Install oh-my-zsh:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh)"

Install oh-my-zsh theme

Built-in themes

oh-my-zsh provides some built-in themes which you can immediately use:

  1. Find your favorite theme in built-in themes list: https://github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/wiki/Themes
  2. Set ZSH_THEME to your favorite theme name in ~/.zshrc
  3. Activate setting by source ~/.zshrc

Third-party themes

There are more third-party themes developped for oh-my-zsh, find and install them here:


Install oh-my-zsh must-have plugins

oh-my-zsh has many powerful plugins, below are some must-have plugins that will boost your productivity.

Sample config:

# ~/.zshrc:


Built-in,use abbreviations for git commands, e.g. gaa -> git add --all, use alias | grep git to get all abbreviations commands

Activate: Add git to ~/.zshrc plugins list.


Built-in, no need to use complicated tar to extract zip files

Activate: Add to extract to ~/.zshrc plugins list.

Usage: extract file_name


Use j to quickly jump to a folder, e.g. j Downloads -> cd ~/Downloads

Install: brew install autojump

Activate: Add autojump to ~/.zshrc plugins list.


Commands syntax highlight plugin

Install: git clone https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting ${ZSH_CUSTOM:-~/.oh-my-zsh/custom}/plugins/zsh-syntax-highlighting

Activate: Add zsh-syntax-highlighting to ~/.zshrc plugins list.


Auto complete commands by typing →

Install: git clone https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-autosuggestions ${ZSH_CUSTOM:-~/.oh-my-zsh/custom}/plugins/zsh-autosuggestions

Activate: Add zsh-autosuggestions to ~.zshrc plugins list.

My own ~/.zshrc config

# Path to your oh-my-zsh installation.
export ZSH=/Users/tonxu/.oh-my-zsh

# theme

# plugins

source $ZSH/oh-my-zsh.sh

# set language
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

# default editor
export EDITOR='vi'

# ssh key path
export SSH_KEY_PATH="~/.ssh/rsa_id"