What Is Zsh On Mac


When I first started using my Mac, I was intrigued by the variety of options available to customize my terminal experience. One of the options that caught my attention was Zsh. Zsh, short for Z Shell, is a powerful shell program that can enhance your command-line experience on macOS. In this article, I will give you an in-depth look at what Zsh is and how it can improve your Mac experience.

The Basics of Zsh

Zsh is an extended version of the traditional Bourne shell (sh) with additional features and customization options. It is designed to be interactive and user-friendly, making it a popular choice among power users and developers. Zsh offers numerous advanced features such as command completion, spelling correction, and theme customization.


By default, macOS comes with Bash (Bourne Again SHell) as the default shell. However, you can easily switch to Zsh by following these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal app on your Mac.
  2. Check if Zsh is already installed by running the command zsh --version. If it’s not installed, you can install it using a package manager like Homebrew.
  3. Set Zsh as the default shell by running the command chsh -s $(which zsh).
  4. Restart your Terminal or open a new Terminal window to start using Zsh as your default shell.


One of the key advantages of Zsh is its extensive customization options. You can tailor your Zsh experience to suit your preferences using themes and plugins.


Zsh provides a wide range of themes that allow you to change the appearance of your terminal. These themes typically include various useful information, such as the current directory, Git branch status, and even the weather forecast. You can easily switch between themes or customize them according to your needs.


Zsh has a vibrant community that has developed numerous plugins to extend its functionality. These plugins can help you automate common tasks, enhance your productivity, and make your command-line experience more enjoyable. Some popular plugins include Oh My Zsh, Zsh Autosuggestions, and Zsh Syntax Highlighting.

Personal Touch and Commentary

As an avid developer, I can’t stress enough how much Zsh has improved my workflow on my Mac. The ability to customize my terminal with themes and plugins has made my command-line experience more efficient and enjoyable. I particularly love the Oh My Zsh framework, which provides a plethora of themes and plugins to choose from. Whether I’m working on a software project or managing my Git repositories, Zsh has proven to be a reliable and versatile shell.


Zsh is undoubtedly a powerful and versatile shell that can enhance your command-line experience on macOS. Its extensive customization options, themes, and plugins make it a favorite among power users and developers. If you’re looking to take your terminal experience to the next level, I highly recommend giving Zsh a try. It may just become your new favorite shell!