As iOS developers, we don’t use the terminal that much so when we use it we don’t expect a lot from the classic one (terminal.app)
That was my case as well until I started using it a lot more cause of my University classes and also working on open source projects like Cocoapods. I knew that I needed a better option, but I didn’t know where to start and that’s why I write this piece. It includes my thoughts on the new terminal setup & a tutorial on how to get started and customize yours.
Another reason that made me want to change my terminal was a screenshot of @mennenia’s terminal. I really enjoyed her setup and the colors of the themes.
Before customizing the terminal we need to download a better alternative from the classic one. Many developers prefer iTerm2. It has a lot of advantages and you can download it here
For easy access to the terminal, you need to set up a hotkey for it. This is one of the reasons I love iTerm2.
- Go to Preferences (CMD+) and to the “keys” tab
- Click on the “Show/Hide iTerm2 with a system-wide hotkey”
- Choose the key that you prefer (I use alt+space)
- Another thing you can do is change the opacity of the background (I prefer the opacity at 100%)
Working on different projects at my University I need my shell to do a ton more than it actually does right. Searching the internet and asking a couple of developers I found Fish.
Fish suggests things/ previous commands as you type. Also, you can autocomplete using the right arrow.
I highly suggest downloading Fish using homebrew
brew install Fish. If you don’t have homebrew I recommend you download it and learn more about it. If you don’t like it you can find more installation info about Fish here.
Last but not least I wanted a new terminal setup because my previous one was not so pretty haha.
Fish has an “oh my” version which allows for easy theming. Check it out here
First I followed Maxim’s setup and I chose the agnoster theme. Because it helped me read better the lines and I was impressed by the customization.
Another thing you can do is to download iTerm2 Profiles and themes from here. I decided to go for the n0tch2k because I like that it has some bright pastel colors.
After a couple of months using the n0tch2k theme, I decided to make the toothpaste theme made by Cat Noone available to iTerm2. I already using it on Xcode and I was super impressed.
Now that you’re done with the theming of your terminal, it’s time to pick a “powerline” font that you like. I followed Maxim’s advice and I went for the HACK font. You can find and download all the fonts from here
It was so fun writing this post and sharing my process behind how I changed the terminal and how it helped me learn more about Fish among other things.