How to install zsh-git-prompt

09 Dec 2017, by Pang Yan Han

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer(s), past or present.

This post shows you how to install zsh-git-prompt, a program which customizes the zsh prompt by displaying additional information whenever a user cds into a git repository.

It is meant for readers of my other blog post, Haskell deep dive: zsh-git-prompt, who do not have zsh installed and/or do not have zsh-git-prompt installed.

NOTE: If you do not wish to install zsh and/or zsh-git-prompt but just want to check out what it does, head over to for a Docker image that has zsh-git-prompt installed, along with instructions on how to use it.

Installing zsh

Follow the instructions at For simplicity, you should use your system’s package manager to do it.

You are highly recommended to install oh-my-zsh, because it comes with some nice default settings and has a pretty big ecosystem of plugins and themes that you can later on choose to use for your customized setup.

Follow the installation instructions at I use the following command:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

This command might error out and say you are missing some programs. Install what it says that you lack using your package manager. When I was building the Docker image for this, it was complaining about missing make and xz.

Installing zsh-git-prompt

We will be cloning the zsh-git-prompt git repo at your home directory.

cd ~
git clone
cd zsh-git-prompt
stack setup
stack build
stack install

The stack install command should install a binary named gitstatus in the ~/zsh-git-prompt/src/.bin/ directory (not to be confused with the actual git status command). Do verify that this is the case.

Append the following to your ~/.zshrc:

source ~/zsh-git-prompt/
# an example prompt
PROMPT='%B%m%~%b$(git_super_status) %# '

Feel free to change the value of the PROMPT, so long it includes the $(git_super_status) somewhere. Personally, I use:

PROMPT='${ret_status} %{$fg[cyan]%}%c%{$reset_color%} $(git_super_status)'

For more information on what those funny %B, %m, %{$fg[cyan]%}, %c and so on mean, please consult

Reload the shell and see what zsh-git-prompt does

If you are already on zsh, just run the following to source the ~/.zshrc and load the changes:

source ~/.zshrc

Otherwise, run zsh to open a new zsh shell.

To see what zsh-git-prompt does, cd to a git repository. You should see that your prompt has additional information about the git repository, similar to (master|✔) or (somebranch|…) or (feature-branch|5↑2↓). If you cd to a directory which is not inside a git repo, you should not see that information.


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