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Antigen is a small set of functions that help you easily manage your shell (zsh) plugins, called bundles. The concept is pretty much the same as bundles in a typical vim+pathogen setup. Antigen is to zsh, what Vundle is to vim.

Quick Usage

First, clone this repo, probably as a submodule if you have your dotfiles in a git repo,

git clone

The usage should be very familiar to you if you use Vundle. A typical .zshrc might look like this

source /path-to-antigen-clone/antigen.zsh

# Load the oh-my-zsh's library.

# Bundles from the default repo (robbyrussell's oh-my-zsh).
bundle git
bundle heroku
bundle pip
bundle lein
bundle command-not-found

# Syntax highlighting bundle.
bundle zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting

# Load the theme.
bundle-theme robbyrussell

Open your zsh with this zshrc and run bundle-install and you should be ready to roll. The complete syntax for the bundle command is discussed further down on this page.


If you use zsh and oh-my-zsh, you know that having many different plugins that are developed by many different authors in a single (sub)repo is not a very easy to maintain. There are some really fantastic plugins and utilities in oh-my-zsh, but having them all in a single repo doesn't really scale well. And I admire robbyrussell's efforts for reviewing and mergine the gigantic number of pull requests the project gets. It needs a better way of plugin management.

This was discussed on a few issues, but it doesn't look like there was any progress made. So, I'm trying to start this off with antigen, hoping to better this situation. Please note that I'm by no means a zsh or any shell script expert (far from it).

Inspired by vundle, antigen can pull oh-my-zsh style plugins from various github repositories. You are not limited to use plugins from the oh-my-zsh repository only and you don't need to maintain your own fork and pull from upstream every now and then.

Antigen also lets you switch the prompt theme with one command, just like that

bundle-theme candy

and your prompt is changed, just for this session of course.



This is the command you use to tell antigen that you want to use a plugin. The simplest usage follows the following syntax

bundle <plugin-name>

This will add the plugins/<name> directory from robbyrussell's oh-my-zsh (can be changed by setting ANTIGEN_DEFAULT_REPO_URL).

However, the above is just syntax sugar for the real syntax of the bundle command.

bundle [<url> [<loc> [<name>]]]

where <url> is the repository url and it defaults to robbyrussell's oh-my-zsh repo. <loc> is the path under this repository which has the zsh plugin. This is typically the directory that contains a *.plugin.zsh file, but it could contain a completion file too. <loc> defaults to /, which indicates the repository itself is a plugin. <name> is the name with which this plugin will be identified. This plugin will be installed in the bundles directory with this name used as the directory name. If the <name> is not given, antigen tries to make an intelligent guess based on the other given arguments.

An example invocation would be

bundle plugins/ant

This would install the ant plugin (with <name> as ant) from robbyrussell's oh-my-zsh repo. Of course, github url's can be shortened.

bundle robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh plugins/ant

And since this is the default, even that isn't necessary. But we can't specify the loc without giving the first argument.

For this and a few other reasons, bundle also supports a simple keyword argument syntax, using which we can rewrite the above as

bundle --loc=plugins/ant

Which is the same as

bundle ant

(In the short syntax sugar introduced at the start of this section).

Note that you can mix and match positional and keyword arguments. But you can't have positional arguments after starting keyword arguments.

bundle robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh --loc=plugins/ant

And keyword arguments don't care about the order in which the arguments are specified. The following is perfectly valid.

bundle --loc=plugins/ant --url=robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh --name=ant

In addition to the above discussed arguments, bundle also takes the following arguments but only as keyword arguments.

load — Set to true (default) or false. If this is set to false, the plugin specified is only recorded, may be for future use. It is not loaded into the environment. But with true, the plugin is immediately sourced and is ready to use, which is the default behavior.


This is something you might not want to put in your .zshrc. Instead, run it to install all the recorded bundles, using the bundle command. It has the following syntax.

bundle-install [--update]

The optional --update argument can be given to update all your plugins from the server. By default, bundle-install does not check for updates on the plugins. It just installs them, if there is a cached copy available and if its not already installed.


This is the same as running

bundle-install --update

That is, it installs the recorded plugins, and updates them to the latest available versions.


Used to clean up unused bundles. It takes no arguments. When this is run, it lists out the plugins that are installed but are not recorded with a bundle command, and will ask you if you want to delete them.

This command currently cannot run in a non-interactive mode. So it won't be very pleasant to use it in your .zshrc.


This currently exists only to make is possible to use oh-my-zsh's library, since its organisation is different from that of plugins. If you want to load oh-my-zsh's library, which you very likely do, put a


in your .zshrc, before any bundle declarations. It takes no arguments.


Used for switching the prompt theme. Invoke it with the name of the theme you want to use.

bundle-theme fox

Currently, themes are pulled from robbyrussell's oh-my-zsh repo, but it will support getting themes from other repos as well in the future.


The following environment variables can be set to customize the behavior of antigen. Make sure you set them before sourceing antigen.zsh.

ANTIGEN_DEFAULT_REPO_URL — This is the default repository url that is used for bundle commands. The default value is robbyrussell's oh-my-zsh repo, but you can set this to the fork url of your own fork.

ANTIGEN_REPO_CACHE — This is where the cloned repositories are cached. Defaults to $HOME/.antigen/cache

ANTIGEN_BUNDLE_DIR — This is where the plugins are installed and sourced from. Defaults to $HOME/.antigen/bundles


Please note that I built this over night and should be considered very alpha. However, I am using it full time now on my work machine.

Project is licensed with the MIT License. To contribute, just fork, make changes and send a pull request. If its a rather long/complicated change, please consider opening an issue first so we can discuss it out.

Any comments/suggestions/feedback welcome. Please join the discussion on the reddit page of this project.