July 29, 2017

470 words 3 mins read

Zplug and Others

Zplug and Others

Been a user of prezto for about 5 years now (ever since I started using zsh) and have always wondered what’s it’s like to either have a minimal zsh configuration from scratch, to use a plugin manager, or try out another framework.

I went on ahead and checked out some zsh “tools” that I can migrate too. zsh from scratch is pretty hard for me and what I had in mind was that I don’t change zsh configuration often.


I’ve stumbled on zr from /r/zsh which is a plugin manager written in rust. Installation was quite simple since all I had to do was clone the project and do a cargo install .

I installed some popular plugins and provided a basic zsh configuration. Everything was working fine. I then proceeded to installing some prezto modules (the git module was really useful to me).

For some reason, I then encountered a lot of errors. I’m not entirely sure what caused it. Maybe because zr is not mature enough yet, or perhaps I had errors in my configuration, or maybe I was missing some configurations. I didn’t investigate further although I think I might just missing something.


zim is another zsh framework that marketed itself to be fast. I think it has something to do with zcompile. Its modules are also taken either from oh-my-zsh and/or prezto. Start up time does seem to be pretty fast.

Installation was really simple as well - similar to the installation of prezto. It provides a custom module which is meant for putting all user customizations.

One issue I had was that I can’t get history-substring-search to work. I’m also a little uncomfortable when a project is outdated. prezto at one point became outdated which made me want to switch to another zsh framework. There are chances the same thing would happen to zim.


grmlzshconfig is a minimal zsh configuration and very popular on Arch Linux. It only has a .zshrc and customizations go on to .zshrc.local. It’s really nice, simple, and fast and I’ve considered to switching to it as well.


zplug is a popular plugin manager. It competes along side antigen.

I used brew install zplug (brew info zplug for more information) to install.

I installed a few plugins and realized that I really am dependent on prezto. I settled with zplug and prezto and installed the modules that I originally used in prezto. Still using prezto and not entirely sure what benefits have I gained with using zplug and prezto although it does feel neater now having lines like these only:

zplug "modules/environment", from:prezto
zplug "modules/terminal", from:prezto
zplug "modules/editor", from:prezto
zplug "modules/history", from:prezto
zplug "modules/directory", from:prezto

I might move to other zsh tools (maybe zgen) in the near future but for now I’m fine with zplug and prezto.