Note: Before you follow these instructions, see Postscript at the end.
I have a long and twisted relationship with nix shells. My computing history started on 8 bit boxes where the was close to no shell (just Basic) and then transitioned to DOS. I moved to Unix initially in 88 (Sun 3s) and then went to Linux full time in ‘99 and OSX finally in 2005. And despite all that, I still struggle with *nix shells; my prompt is never right, my shell scripting blows chunks, etc. Sigh. But the one thing I hate, hate, hate, *censored hate is that with Bash, my history is always screwed up. I actually like Bash a bit but I am so damn tired of every Bash session on my machine having a different history and each terminal window racing in a Darwinian competition of “let my history win!”.
Just to clarify, in a terminal your history is the list of commands that you executed. And since the types of commands I issue can be frighteningly complex, I want access to all my previous commands - period. I’m absolutely binary on this issue, access to all your commands is a good thing. And commands being lost is a bad thing; a censoreding bad thing.
My good friend Sean and regular pairing partner, Sean Kennedy, told me that Z-Shell solves this and, when I had an opportunity, I was ready for it. Here’s the short process:
- Close everything.
- Install Mojave if you haven’t (yes I’m antiquatedly retro in the speed by which I upgrade operating systems; sorry / not sorry).
- Install Z Shell with Home Brew
- Install Oh My Zsh which makes ZShell so much better
- Execute a change shell command
- Update Your .zshrc File
- Log out and then in on your Mac. Yes this shouldn’t be necessary but #$(#$*# Apple.
Steps 3 forward are covered below.
3 - Install Z Shell with Home Brew
brew install zsh
4- Install Oh My Zsh
Execute this command:
sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh)"
5 - Change Your Shell
You may find that installing Oh My Zsh changes your shell. If it doesn’t then you need to do this:
chsh -s $(which zsh)
And then a:
ln -s "$ZSH_CUSTOM/themes/spaceship-prompt/spaceship.zsh-theme" "$ZSH_CUSTOM/themes/spaceship.zsh-theme"
6 - Update Your .zshrc
The file .zshrc is your zsh configuration file. Edit it as follows:
- Open this file in an editor.
- Comment out the robbyrussell theme line by prefixing it with a # character.
Add the following lines after the robbyrussell theme line (change the username csphere to your own):
# Oh My Zsh export SPACESHIP_GIT_SYMBOL=’’ export SPACESHIP_PACKAGE_SYMBOL=’package ‘ export SPACESHIP_NODE_SYMBOL=’node ‘ export SPACESHIP_RUBY_SYMBOL=’ruby ‘ export SPACESHIP_ELIXIR_SYMBOL=’elixir ‘ export SPACESHIP_XCODE_SYMBOL=’xcode ‘ export SPACESHIP_SWIFT_SYMBOL=’swift ‘ export SPACESHIP_GOLANG_SYMBOL=’go ‘ export SPACESHIP_PHP_SYMBOL=’php ‘ export SPACESHIP_RUST_SYMBOL=’rust ‘ export SPACESHIP_DOCKER_SYMBOL=’docker ‘ export SPACESHIP_AWS_SYMBOL=’aws ‘ export ZSH=/Users/csphere/.oh-my-zsh ZSH_THEME=”spaceship” ZSH_CUSTOM=~/.zsh-custom/ plugins=( git ) source $ZSH/oh-my-zsh.sh
A Slack Conversation About This
scott.johnson [9:26 AM] So I just tried to search my history and am I doing it right: history | grep ssh 69* ssh 172.31.21.29 that’s not showing the ssh line I got from you to get into jenkins which concerns me about the command line history. Am I doing something wrong? So I found it by looking in ~/.zsh_history Sean Kennedy [9:32 AM] edit your zsh history err edit your zshrc scott.johnson [9:33 AM] ok… Sean Kennedy [9:33 AM] ```HISTFILE=~/.zsh_history SAVEHIST=100000``` then source it will probably need to source it in every active terminal scott.johnson [9:33 AM] thx man Sean Kennedy [9:33 AM] np
So I just tried to follow this exactly on a new machine and it both worked and didn’t work. It worked in the terminal window where I started but it failed in any new window. I think the issue amounted to:
- On OSX Mojave after a chsh operation you need to log out and log back in. My guess is that this one thing fixes everything but just in case, follow the next steps.
I needed (perhaps) a bootstrap shell script called ~/sourcezsh.sh which has in it only three lines:
#!/bin/bash # adjust as needed export ZSH=/Users/sjohnson/.oh-my-zsh source $ZSH/oh-my-zsh.sh
In the event that this fails for you then here are the links which helped me sort it out:
Note: I’d have solved this more definitively but my machine is rebuilding a 100gig archive of hate speech for data processing and, well, I simply can’t log in and out right now. Sigh.
And I wouldn’t have posted this except that it mostly worked and I needed it myself to move forward. Still I hate like hell that it is ambiguous. Sorry.