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A fast reimplementation of Powerlevel9k ZSH theme
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Powerlevel10k is a theme for ZSH. It's a backward-compatible reimplementation of Powerlevel9k with lower latency and better prompt responsiveness.

If you like the looks of Powerlevel9k but feeling frustrated by its slow prompt, simply replace it with Powerlevel10k and enjoy responsive shell like it's 80's again!

Powerlevel10k is a drop-in replacement for Powerlevel9k. It uses the same configuration options as Powerlevel9k and produces the same results [*]. It's simply much faster.

Table of Contents

  1. Installation
    1. Manual
    2. Oh My Zsh
    3. Prezto
    4. Antigen
    5. Zplug
    6. Zgen
    7. Antibody
  2. Configuration
  3. Try it out
    1. For Powerlevel9k users
    2. For new users
    3. Docker playground
  4. How fast is it?
  5. License
  6. FAQ
    1. Why does Powerlevel10k spawn extra processes?
    2. Does Powerlevel10k always render exactly the same prompt with the same config?
    3. I am getting an error: "zsh: bad math expression: operand expected at end of string"
    4. Are changes getting up/down-streamed?
    5. Is there an AUR package for Powerlevel10k?
    6. I cannot make Powerlevel10k work with my plugin manager. Help!
    7. What is the minimum supported zsh version?


If you don't yet have a Powerline font installed, follow the font installation guide from Powerlevel9k. Once you have a working Powerline font installed, proceed with the installation of Powerlevel10k as described below.


git clone ~/powerlevel10k
echo 'source ~/powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k.zsh-theme' >>! ~/.zshrc

This is the simplest kind of installation and it works even if you are using a plugin manager. Just make sure to disable your current theme in your plugin manager. See FAQ for help.

Oh My Zsh

git clone $ZSH_CUSTOM/themes/powerlevel10k

Set ZSH_THEME=powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k in your ~/.zshrc.


git clone  ~/.zprezto/modules/prompt/external/powerlevel10k
ln -s ~/.zprezto/modules/prompt/{external/powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k.zsh-theme,functions/prompt_powerlevel10k_setup}

Add zstyle :prezto:module:prompt theme powerlevel10k to your ~/.zpreztorc.


Add antigen theme romkatv/powerlevel10k to your ~/.zshrc. Make sure you have antigen apply somewhere after it.


Add zplug romkatv/powerlevel10k, use:powerlevel10k.zsh-theme to your ~/.zshrc.


Add zgen load romkatv/powerlevel10k powerlevel10k to your ~/.zshrc.


Add antibody bundle romkatv/powerlevel10k to your ~/.zshrc.


Powerlevel10k recognized all configuration options used by Powerlevel9k. See Powerlevel9k configuration guide for the full list.

If you've been using Powerlevel9k before, do not remove the configuration options. Powerlevel10k will pick them up and provide you with the same prompt UI you are used to.

The default configuration in Powerlevel10k is the same as in Powerlevel9k, which is to say it's not pretty. Pure Power is recommended as a good starting point for new users. It'll make your prompt look like this.

Pure Power

Installation of Pure Power is the same regardless of your plugin manager of choice.

( cd && curl -fsSLO )
echo 'source ~/.purepower' >>! ~/.zshrc

Pure Power needs to be installed in addition to Powerlevel10k, not instead of it. ~/.purepower defines a set of configuration parameters that affect the styling of Powerlevel10k; there is no code in it.

Read the documentation at the top of ~/.purepower (or here) to get an idea of what your prompt is capable of. You can edit the file to change your Powerlevel10k configuration.

Powerlevel10k has configuration options that Powerlevel9k doesn't. See extended configuration.

Try it out

Try Powerlevel10k without making any changes to your setup. If you like it, see installation and configuration for how to make a permanent switch.

For Powerlevel9k users

If you are currently using Powerlevel9k, you can try Powerlevel10k in a temporary zsh shell. The prompt will look exactly like what you are used to but it'll be faster.

git clone /tmp/powerlevel10k
source /tmp/powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k.zsh-theme

When you are done playing, rm -rf /tmp/powerlevel10k and exit zsh. Feel the difference in prompt latency.

For new users

git clone /tmp/powerlevel10k
(cd /tmp/powerlevel10k && curl -fsSLO
echo '
  # Uncomment the following line if you see unprintable characters in your prompt
  # PURE_POWER_MODE=portable
  source /tmp/powerlevel10k/.purepower
  source /tmp/powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k.zsh-theme' >/tmp/powerlevel10k/.zshrc
ZDOTDIR=/tmp/powerlevel10k zsh

When you are done playing, rm -rf /tmp/powerlevel10k and exit zsh.

Docker playground

You can try Powerlevel10k in Docker (Linux only). You can safely make any changes to the file system while trying out Powerlevel10k. Once you exit zsh, the image is deleted.

docker run -e LANG=C.UTF-8 -e LC_ALL=C.UTF-8 -e TERM=$TERM -it --rm ubuntu bash -uexc '
  apt update && apt install -y zsh git curl
  git clone ~/powerlevel10k
  cd && curl -fsSLO
  echo "
    # Uncomment the following line if you see unprintable characters in your prompt
    # PURE_POWER_MODE=portable
    source ~/.purepower
    source ~/powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k.zsh-theme" >~/.zshrc
  cd ~/powerlevel10k
  exec zsh'

How fast is it?

Powerlevel10k renders prompt between 10 and 100 times faster than powerlevel9k.

Here are benchmark results obtained with zsh-prompt-benchmark on Intel i9-7900X running Ubuntu 18.04.

Theme / ~/linux
powerlevel9k/master 101 ms 280 ms
powerlevel9k/next 26 ms 255 ms
powerlevel10k 1 ms 22 ms
naked zsh 0.05 ms 0.05 ms

Columns define the current directory where the prompt was rendered.

  • / -- root directory, not a git repo.
  • ~/linux -- linux git repo with 60k files. It was checked out to an M.2 SSD.

powerlevel9k/master is the stable branch of powerlevel9k, the one that virtually everyone uses. powerlevel9k/next is the development branch for the next release.

Here's how the prompt looked like during benchmarking.

It was identical in Powerlevel10k and Powerlevel9k. Even though Powerlevel10k can dynamically switch to async prompts, it wasn't happening during the benchmark because latencies were low. Prompts with both themes were essentially synchronous, with every prompt having up-to-date git info (no greyed-out vcs/git segments).

Configuration that was used:



Powerlevel10k shows similar performance advantage over Powerlevel9k on Mac OS, FreeBSD, WSL, and Raspberry Pie.


Powerlevel10k is released under the MIT license. Contributions are convered by the same license.


Why does Powerlevel10k spawn extra processes?

Powerlevel10k uses gitstatus as the backend behind vcs prompt; gitstatus spawns gitstatusd and zsh. See gitstatus for details. Powerlevel10k spawns another zsh if POWERLEVEL9K_EXPERIMENTAL_TIME_REALTIME is set to true. This is used to trigger prompt refresh every second.

Does Powerlevel10k always render exactly the same prompt with the same config?

This is the goal. You should be able to switch between Powerlevel9k and Powerlevel10k with no visible changes except for performance. There are, however, several differences.

  • By default only git vcs backend is enabled in Powerlevel10k. If you need svn and hg, you'll need to set POWERLEVEL9K_VCS_BACKENDS. See extended configuration.
  • Fewer configuration options can be changed after the theme is loaded. For example, if you decide to change background color of some segment in the middle of an interactive session, it may not work.

If you notice any other differences between prompts in Powerlevel9k and Powerlevel10k when running with the same settings, please open an issue.

I am getting an error: "zsh: bad math expression: operand expected at end of string"

Did you change any POWERLEVEL9K options after the first prompt got rendered, perhaps by editing your ~/.zshrc and executing source ~/.zshrc? This isn't supported. You'll need to restart zsh for configuration changes to take effect. Run exec zsh to do this without forking a process.

Are changes getting up/down-streamed?

Powerlevel10k regularly pulls changes from Powerlevel9k, so all bug fixes and new features that land in Powerlevel9k will land here, too. This is a labor-intensive process because Powerlevel9k and Powerlevel10k have very different code. Thankfully, there aren't many changes in Powerlevel9k.

There is ongoing work on upstreaming some of the performance improvements from Powerlevel10k to Powerlevel9k. E.g., issues 1170 and 1185.

I've opening issues for all bugs that I've inherited from Powerlevel9k during the fork and have since fixed. They don't see much traction but at least the devs and users know about them.

Improvements to libgit2 are being upstreamed. There are 3 independent optimizations and it's not yet clear whether all of them will make it but there is a good chance they will.

Fix to a bug in zsh that affects all async themes might get upstreamed.

Is there an AUR package for Powerlevel10k?

Yes, zsh-theme-powerlevel10k-git. This package is owned by an unaffiliated volunteer.

I cannot make Powerlevel10k work with my plugin manager. Help!

If the installation instructions didn't work for you, try disabling your current theme (so that you end up with no theme) and then installing Powerlevel10k manually.

  1. Disable the current theme in your framework / plugin manager.
  • zplug: Open ~/.zshrc and remove the zplug command that refers to your current theme. For example, if you are currently using Powerlevel9k, look for zplug bhilburn/powerlevel9k, use:powerlevel9k.zsh-theme.
  • prezto: Open ~/.zpreztorc and put zstyle :prezto:module:prompt theme off in it. Remove any other command that sets theme such as zstyle :prezto:module:prompt theme powerlevel9k.
  • oh-my-zsh: Open ~/.zshrc and remove the line that sets ZSH_THEME, such as ZSH_THEME=powerlevel9k/powerlevel9k.
  • antigen: Open ~/.zshrc and remove the line that sets antigen theme, such as antigen theme bhilburn/powerlevel9k powerlevel9k.
  1. Install Powerlevel10k manually.
git clone ~/powerlevel10k
echo 'source ~/powerlevel10k/powerlevel10k.zsh-theme' >>! ~/.zshrc

This method of installation won't make anything slower or otherwise sub-par.

What is the minimum supported zsh version?

ZSH 5.1 or newer should work.

However, there are too many version, OS, platform, terminal and option configurations to test. If Powerlevel10k doesn't work for you, please open an issue.

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