*Updated 5/26/23

I wanted to show the terminal setup I use for my dev environment. I have the same setup whether I’m on Mac or linux (Ubuntu) – but below is the setup I like to use on my Macbook Pro.


Instead of using the default terminal that’s built into MacOS, I love to use iTerm2. This is because iTerm2 allows for tons of customized configurability as well as my fave feature – split panes. It comes in hand when you need to run a few processes or log into various systems at the same time, without needing to open multiple windows and dock them a particular way. (For Linux I recommend Tilix!)

You can download iTerm2 directly from their website and drag to your Applications folder.


Starting with MacOS 10.15, the default shell is zsh, whereas before it was bash. (If you’re on an early version of MacOS, you can use homebrew to install it quickly with the command brew install zsh.)

I like zsh because it allows for customizability. For even more features I love using Oh-My-Zsh, a popular plugin framework that’s community-driven and includes 200+ optional plugins and over 100 themes.

Install with the command

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh/master/tools/install.sh)"

You’ll then be prompted to install the command line tools for MacOS:

install command line developer tools

install command line dev tools

After installing the command line dev tools, rerun the command to install Oh-My-Zsh.

Customize All the Things!

customize all the things

If you want to customize your theme like I usually do, you’ll need to edit your .zshrc config file located in your home directory:

open zshrc

My favorite theme currently is “SMT”, but you can change to whichever one your like from the Oh-My-Zsh site.

In the .zshrc config file, change the line:

ZSH_THEME="smt" or whatever theme name you choose.

Close the terminal then open it back up to see new theme.

To customize my theme even more, I usually change the character “福” to an emoji that I prefer ( ⭐️ or ☕️ etc). Open up your them config file in your favorite text editor:

open ~/.oh-my-zsh/themes/smt.zsh-theme

Then I search for the “福” character and add my emoji or text:

change character

edit your prompt…or not

Close the terminal then open back up to see the new line:

star emoji

As a last step, I change my terminal colors like I change my mood. My latest fave terminal theme is Dracula. It’s available for nearly every software and terminal around!

Download the one for iTerm and follow instructions. Behold the beauty before your eyes!

completed terminal 1024x643 1

beautiful terminal

That’s basically it! There are tons of things you can customize but this is the setup that I’ve used for a while now. I hope you’ve enjoy this post and let me know how you customize your terminal!

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