#February2020 #Linux #Horizon #VDI #Tools #Shell

A Linux Development Desktop with VMware Horizon - Part III: Shell

Previous articles:

High ⚡️ Way to Shell

The operationalization of platforms such as e.g. Kubernetes, or the use of tools for building services or applications such as Docker, requires in both cases the use of the command-line. There are dozens of great plugins, themes and extensions out there to pimp your shell so that it´ll help you to increase velocity as well as useability.

Part III of my series is focused on the Shell and which “Highway” you can take to have the described tool available at the end.

Figure I: Default Terminal appearance before tuning

1. ZSH aka Z shell - http://www.zsh.org/

ZSH is a extended shell with lots of features, support for plugins and themes.


sudo apt install zsh


Should be installed by default.

sudo yum install zsh

2. Oh My ZSH - https://ohmyz.sh/

A community-driven framework for managing your Z shell configuration. Ubuntu:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh/master/tools/install.sh)"


sh -c "$(wget -O- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh/master/tools/install.sh)"

Verify if ZSH is set as your new default Shell:

echo $SHELL
cat /etc/passwd | grep "username"

ZSH Syntax Highlighting - https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting

This plugin enables highlighting of commands whilst they are typed and it´ll help you to avoid syntax erros before you run a command.

CentOS & Ubuntu:

Let´s clone the repository into our oh-my-zsh plugins directory:

git clone https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting.git ${ZSH_CUSTOM:-~/.oh-my-zsh/custom}/plugins/zsh-syntax-highlighting

Enable the plugin in your zsh config file (~/.zshrc) in the “plugins section”.

plugins=(git pks zsh-syntax-highlighting)

Restart your terminal.

3. Install Powerline Fonts - https://github.com/powerline/fonts

Needed fonts for the Powerlevel9k theme (step 4.).


sudo apt install fonts-powerline


git clone https://github.com/powerline/fonts.git --depth=1
cd fonts
cd ..
rm -rf fonts

4. Powerlevel9k - https://github.com/Powerlevel9k/powerlevel9k

This theme will give your shell a new shine.

CentOS & Ubuntu:

git clone https://github.com/bhilburn/powerlevel9k.git ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/themes/powerlevel9k
vim ~/.zshrc

Replace the default ZSH_THEME with the new Powerlevel9k theme:


The Powerlevel9k theme gives you some pretty neat customization options which makes your terminal even more powerful.

Here´s my configuration:


And you should also paste the following variable to the top of your .zshrc file, otherwise you will get an error when using tmux later.

export TERM="xterm-256color"

A logout or reboot of the system is necessary for the changes to take effect.

The result:

Figure II: ZSH with Powerlevel-9k Theme | l: Ubuntu r: CentOS

I love it! And it doesn´t only looks good, it also comes in very handy if you work e.g. with Git as you can see on Figure II for example. The right screenshot shows you that I am in a git branch called featurebranch and the color indicates me, that my workingtree is either clean and theres nothing to commit (green) or that new files were added and needs to be commited (orange).

More! More! More!

Homebrew on Linux 🍺 - https://docs.brew.sh/Homebrew-on-Linux

Homebrew is a package manager (like Snappy) which simplifies the installation of software on your OS and should not be missing if you ask me.

CentOS & Ubuntu:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Linuxbrew/install/master/install.sh)"

The installation-script will throw a Warning at the end, because it points out that /home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin isn´t in your PATH. Add the path to your .zshrc dot-file.

vim ~/.zshrc
export PATH=$PATH:"/home/linuxbrew/.linuxbrew/bin"
source ~/.zshrc

CLI´s and tools I´m using and I´d like to recommend

kubectl - https://kubernetes.io/docs/tasks/tools/install-kubectl/#install-kubectl-on-linux

A command line tool for controlling Kubernetes clusters.

brew install kubectl

ZSH Autocompletion for kubectl - https://v1-16.docs.kubernetes.io/docs/reference/kubectl/cheatsheet/#kubectl-autocomplete

source <(kubectl completion zsh)
echo "if [ $commands[kubectl] ]; then source <(kubectl completion zsh); fi" >> ~/.zshrc

Powershell - https://snapcraft.io/powershell

PowerShell is an cross-platform (Windows, Linux, and macOS) command-line shell for automation and configuration management.

Installation via snap:

sudo snap install powershell --classic

KinD - Kubernetes in Docker - https://github.com/kubernetes-sigs/kind

kind is a tool for running local Kubernetes clusters using Docker container “nodes”.

Figure III: kind create cluster

Octant - https://github.com/vmware-tanzu/octant

Octant is a tool for developers to understand how applications run on a Kubernetes cluster.

Octant demo

Source: https://github.com/vmware-tanzu/octant

tmux - https://github.com/tmux/tmux

tmux is a terminal multiplexer.

Enable Mouse-scrolling: Scrolling the terminal pages by using the mouse-wheel is natural for me and because it´s not enabled by default when using tmux I need to enable it. Settings like this for example can be applied while running tmux. Press ctrl + b and then type :set -g mouse on.

bat - https://github.com/sharkdp/bat

bat is a cat clone with syntax highlighting and Git integration.

glances - https://github.com/nicolargo/glances

glances is a cross-platform monitoring tool.

htop - https://github.com/hishamhm/htop

htop is an interactive process viewer.

ctop - https://github.com/bcicen/ctop

ctop provides a concise and condensed overview of real-time metrics for multiple containers:

prettyping - https://github.com/denilsonsa/prettyping

prettyping is a wrapper around the standard ping tool with the objective of making the output prettier, more colorful, more compact, and easier to read.

And all of them can be easily installed via brew:

brew install kind octant tmux bat glances htop ctop prettyping

Addtionally to htop, ytop (former gotop) is a pretty neat process and system monitor.

ytop - https://github.com/cjbassi/ytop

brew tap cjbassi/ytop && brew install ytop

Figure III: tmux, htop, ctop, prettyping & ytop

figlet - http://www.figlet.org/ & lolcat - https://github.com/busyloop/lolcat

brew install figlet lolcat

figlet cliFun | lolcat
      _ _ _____
  ___| (_)  ___|   _ _ __
 / __| | | |_ | | | | '_ \
| (__| | |  _|| |_| | | | |
 \___|_|_|_|   \__,_|_| |_|

cowsay - You should have a look at this post regarding cowsay 😄: “cowsay is the Most Important Unix-like Command Ever”

brew install cowsay

cowsay -f vader I am your...LOL!

< I am your...LOL! >
        \    ,-^-.
         \   !oYo!
          \ /./=\.\______
               ##        )\/\
                ||      ||

               Cowth Vader

Last but not least! Asciinema - https://asciinema.org/

A perfect way how you can easily record your terminal sessions.

brew install asciinema

asciinema rec

Shell Aliases

Put the following aliases for the individual commands to the end of your .zshrc file

alias tmuxinit="tmux new-session -n init"
alias c=clear
alias k=kubectl
alias w='watch -n1'
alias ping=prettyping
alias cat=bat

You´re good to go!

Previous articles:

A Linux Development Desktop with VMware Horizon - Part I: Horizon

A Linux Development Desktop with VMware Horizon - Part II: Applications

Change Log:

  • [2020-03-10]: Added Enable Mouse-scrolling for tmux; ZSH Syntax Highlighting; Powerlevel9k configuration
  • [2020-03-10]: Updated Figure II
  • [2020-03-18]: Added Glances & Powershell

Thanks for reading.

February2020 Linux Horizon VDI Tools Shell