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Developer Tools - Terminal

liukonen profile image Luke Liukonen ・2 min read

I love my terminal setups. I don’t know what it is about it. It reminds me of my first PC, where I was running Windows 3.1 / MS-Dos 6, except, well, its better. It also reminds me of when I first tried out linux. And I don’t mean a bloated full blown distro… this was back when I was in highschool and I found a distro that could boot off a floppy disk. The amount of power you have in the terminal is outstanding, and yet, a lot of people shy away from it. I think seeing a blinking cursor and a c:\ can be a bit intimidating. That said, as a developer, I have a terminal window open much of the time. I find switching git repos and getting latest a lot smoother using the git command then most GUI based tools. That said I’ve been using some form of terminal / prompt for many moons, and even I get nervous using it. To make my life easier however, I have “prettyfied” my terminal, and will show you how you can too.
So, I use the phrase terminal gets thrown around a LOT. I am not going to get into the nuances of terminal vs shell, since Scott Hanselman covers it very well here… https://www.hanselman.com/blog/whats-the-difference-between-a-console-a-terminal-and-a-shell

As a Windows Developer -

First and foremost is I download Windows Terminal. Second is Powershell Core. I also run the latest Powershell Core and Powershell shells. Windows Terminal gives you the option of quickly switching to Command Prompt, Powershell, Powershell core, Azure, or any installs WSL linux distros on your machine. From there I install NerdFonts, powerline, and Oh My Posh. Directions to install can be found here..https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/winddows/terminal/tutorials/powerline-setup
This not only makes my terminal super nice looking, it gives me quick access to git information such as number of changes made, if it’s in sync, and which branch I am in.

As a Mac or Linux Developer -

Ok, so I haven’t tried this in a shell only linux distro, but in Gnome using xterm. For Mac, I have used terminal and Term2 and between the two, I haven’t seen a reason not to use Macs default terminal. For linux, I install Zsh shell. Mac already has Zsh installed (most recent versions). Once I have it installed, as above, I install a nerdfont based font for the GUI. This gives the nice fancy Icons such as the Git Icon and Linux / Apple logo in the corner. Oh my Zsh (https://ohmyz.sh) is then installed to get the fancy tools for git. For a theme, I installed Powerlevel10k. This gives me a GUI very similar to powerline on windows. Install directions can be found at its website, https://github.com/romkatv/powerlevel10k. This gives me the same bells and whistles I use on my Windows PC

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