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A minimal zsh theme
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LICENSE Initial commit Sep 11, 2016


A minimal and extensible zsh theme.





zgen load subnixr/minimal


antigen bundle subnixr/minimal

Otherwise, you can always clone the repo and source minimal.zsh.

Customization and extension


Minimal is mostly a collection of components (shell functions) on top of a thin layer to ease customization.

There are 3 areas where a component can be rendered:

  • left prompt
  • right prompt
  • infoline (shown when there is no command and user presses Enter)

A component should work in any of the three areas (left, right, info)

Override default settings

Different components can use these (global) settings:

  • MNML_OK_COLOR: Color for successful things (default: 2)
  • MNML_ERR_COLOR: Color for failures (default: 1)
  • MNML_USER_CHAR: Character used for unprivileged users (default: λ)
  • MNML_INSERT_CHAR: Character used for vi insert mode (default: )
  • MNML_NORMAL_CHAR: Character used for vi normal mode (default: ·)

Three global arrays handle the definition and rendering position of the components:

# Components on the left prompt
MNML_PROMPT=(mnml_ssh mnml_pyenv mnml_status mnml_keymap)

# Components on the right prompt
MNML_RPROMPT=('mnml_cwd 2 0' mnml_git)

# Components shown on info line
MNML_INFOLN=(mnml_err mnml_jobs mnml_uhp mnml_files)

An additional array is used to configure magic enter's behavior:

MNML_MAGICENTER=(mnml_me_dirs mnml_me_ls mnml_me_git)

These values can be changed interactively or in any of the init files.

PROMPT and RPROMPT should be left untouched, as minimal already takes care of them.

Available components



Syntax: mnml_status

An indicator displaying the following information:

  • user privilege: # is printed when root, $MNML_USER_CHAR otherwise.
  • last command success: indicator's color is set to $MNML_OK_COLOR when the last command was successful, $MNML_ERR_COLOR otherwise.
  • background jobs: indicator is underlined if at least one job is in background.


Syntax: mnml_keymap

An indicator displaying the current keymap. $MNML_INSERT_CHAR is printed when in insert or default mode, $MNML_NORMAL_CHAR when in normal (vi) mode.

It reacts to keymap changes. It should work even if zsh bind mode is not set to vi

Current Working Directrory


Syntax: mnml_cwd N LEN

Displays the last N segments of the current working directory, each one trucated if LEN is exceded.

If N is not specified, it will take a default value of 2. If is specified but N <= 0, it will be set to 1.

If LEN is not specified or LEN <= 0 no truncation will be performed on the segments. If 0 < LEN < 4 it will be set to 4.

When a segment length is greater than LEN's value, the first LEN / 2 - 1 characters are printed, followed by .., followed by the last LEN / 2 - 1 characters.
For example, with LEN = 8 and 0123456789 as segment, 012..789 is displayed.

Git branch status


Syntax: mnml_git

Displays the current git's branch, when inside a git repo. Color is set to $MNML_OK_COLOR if the branch is clean, $MNML_ERR_COLOR if the branch is dirty.

User, Hostname & PWD


Syntax: mnml_uhp

Displays the current username, hostname and working directory.

SSH hostname


Syntax: mnml_ssh

Displays the hostname only if current session is through a SSH connection.

Python virtual environment


Syntax: mnml_pyenv

Displays the current activated python virtualenv.

Last command error value


Syntax: mnml_err

Displays the last command exit status only if it is not 0.

Background jobs counter


Syntax: mnml_jobs

Displays the number of background jobs only if there is at least one.


[5 (2)]

Syntax: mnml_files

Displays the number of visible files, followed by the number of hidden files if any.

Magic enter functions

Directory stack

Syntax: mnml_me_dirs

Prints dirs output if there is more than 1 directory in the stack.

Colored ls

Syntax: mnml_me_ls

Prints colored ls output.

Condensed git status

Syntax: mnml_me_git

Prints a colored and concise git status, only when inside a git repo.

Custom components

Adding functionality is as easy as writing a shell function and adding it to one of the arrays:

function awesome_component {
  echo -n "AWESOME"

function awesome_magicenter {
  figlet -f slant "COOL"

source minimal.zsh

MNML_PROMPT=(awesome_component $MNML_PROMPT)

Due to minimal's architecture, if you need the value of the last command exit status ($?), $MNML_LAST_ERR must be used. $? can still be used to check for errors inside the component.

Congiguration examples:

no UTF-8

source minimal.zsh

Result (right omitted): $ >

classic bash's prompt

MNML_PROMPT=(mnml_uhp mnml_status mnml_keymap)
source minimal.zsh

Result: user@host:~ λ ›

good old days

source minimal.zsh

Result: λ

Transition from 0.1.0

Check this gist

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