05/03/2018 Windows How to install ZSH and Oh My ZSH! in the Linux Subsystem on Windows 10 (WSL)

How to install ZSH and Oh My ZSH! in the Linux Subsystem on Windows 10 (WSL)

We already learned to install the Linux Subsystem on Windows 10, but if we compare it with other operating systems' environment it may be a bit boring, isn't it? Well, today we'll show you how to change the bash terminal to another with more potential like zsh and if that were not enough, giving it even more power with Oh My ZSH!

Disclaimer: we assume that, following the process of our Linux subsystem installation guide on Windows 10, the Linux distro you've installed is Ubuntu. If you've chosen for another one it's possible that some commands, mainly those ones related to the installation of new packages, may be different.

Ubuntu doesn't have zsh installed by default, so the first thing we've to do is install it, let's go for it:

# apt install zsh

And now we can make sure that the installation has been correct (although if we read the lines that appeared on the screen during the installation of the package, there should be no doubt) checking which version of zsh we've installed; as previously there was none, if the command works the installation worked properly:

$ zsh --version

Setting ZSH as the default shell

With a simple command we'll go to set zsh as default shell so each time we run the Ubuntu application it loads with our favourite shell:

$ chsh -s $(which zsh)

Installing Oh My ZSH!

We're almost done, because there's only proceed with the Oh My ZSH! installation and the good news is that there's only one command left:

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

We'll realize that Oh My ZSH! has been installed properly because our prompt (the line on the left from where we write commands in the terminal) has changed to another prettier one and with a lot of new features.

Two of these features that we should know: we now have the possibility of change the prompt theme and add Oh My ZSH! plugins. It's great!

It's been very easy! Isn't it? Now we can enjoy the experience using our new zsh terminal on Windows, although it should be remembered that never be the same user experience to install a GNU/Linux distro on our hard disk drive. If you haven't tried yet, from SargantanaCode we recommend you try it in a virtual machine, and if you like it, we recommend you give an opportunity to free software and to GNU/Linux specifically installing it in your system. Starting with a dual boot is a very good idea.

And as we always say here at SargantanaCode: never stop programming!

Javi Palacios

Javi Palacios


Computer Padawan and real reader enthusiast. The first day that I code I knew that I wanted to continue programing for the rest of my life. Compiling things on Linux since 2003 and enjoying the stability of macOS since 2006. Free software and technology lover.

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