How to Install ZSH, Oh My Zsh and themes in Ubuntu on Windows

The short guide

Daniel Godigna
Sep 28, 2016 · 3 min read

At the moment I am writing there are a bunch of articles that explain how to install Ubuntu on Windows. That’s because I decided to just move forward. Still if you want to review that step I recommend watching the tutorial made by Scott Hanselman here.

Now let’s begin!

Basic Installation of ZSH on Windows

Once you have installed the Windows subsystem for linux, you can proceed and install ZSH as usual running the following command in your terminal.

sudo apt-get install zsh

Fish shell also works if you want to use another shell to specify the name of that shell instead of ZSH . To install it, just run the following command:

sudo apt-get install fish

Now that this is done, you must type in your terminal zsh and you will be prompted through the first-time setup process. At this point will start the configuration profile. Type 2 to create a configuration profile with the recommended default settings. To get out from ZSH and going back to bash you can type exit .

Making ZSH your default shell

You could simply run zsh. But the following lines will ensure that Bash only launches ZSH when you open Bash. This will avoid causing problems for other software. Making it to launch ZSH and directly bypassing Bash. To accomplish this you’ll need to edit your ~/.bashrc . Swap out open with your favorite editor command, such as nano, vim or emacs, (for example nano ~/.bashrc) and then paste the following code somewhere you like in the file.

# Launch Zsh
if [ -t 1 ]; then
exec zsh

Basic Installation of Oh My Zsh

Oh My Zsh gets installed by running one of the following commands in your terminal. You can install it via the command-line with either curl or wget.

via curl

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

via wget

sh -c "$(wget -O -)"

ZSH Settings Link

ZSH settings are stored in a .zshrc file located in your home directory and you can view it by running nano .zshrc from the terminal.

Now Look for ZSH_THEME=”robbyrussell— this is the default theme that comes with ZSH. I recommend setting this to ZSH_THEME=”random”, or using a fancy one like ZSH_THEME=”agnoster”.

What’s missing and how to fix it

Color schemes are mostly a manual process, you can play with them all that you want or leave them as default. Also you can install the font Menlo for powerline in your PC just by clicking on the font with the right click, and later choosing it on your terminal or CMD. This will give you all those missing symbols you need for making this to look just fine with those themes.


Become A Command-Line Power User With Oh-My-ZSH And Z

How to Use Zsh (or Another Shell) in Windows 10

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade