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How To Install and Troubleshoot Zsh in Ubuntu 18.04

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In this article, we will guide you through the process of installing and troubleshooting Zsh, a powerful shell program, on Ubuntu 18.04. We’ll also discuss the potential issues you might encounter during the installation process and how to resolve them.

Quick Answer

To install Zsh in Ubuntu 18.04, open the terminal and run the command sudo apt install zsh. To check the installed version, run zsh --version. If you encounter issues with Oh My Zsh, try installing Git and Oh My Zsh or clone the Oh My Zsh repository.

What is Zsh?

Zsh, or Z shell, is an extended version of the Bourne Shell (sh), with plenty of new features, and support for plugins and themes. Since it’s based on the same shell as Bash, Zsh has many of the same features, and switching over is a breeze.

Installation of Zsh

Step 1: Update Package Lists

The first step is to open your terminal. You can do this by searching for it in the Ubuntu Dash or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T.

Once the terminal is open, you will need to update the package lists for upgrades and new package installations. Type the following command and press Enter:

sudo apt update

The sudo command allows you to run programs with the security privileges of another user (by default, as the superuser). apt is a command-line interface that allows you to manage packages in Ubuntu. update is an option within the apt command that updates all your package lists.

Step 2: Install Zsh

To install Zsh, type the following command into your terminal and press Enter:

sudo apt install zsh

The install command in apt is used for installing packages. Here, zsh is the package that we want to install.

Step 3: Check Zsh Installation

After the installation is complete, you can check the installed version of Zsh by running:

zsh --version

The --version option is used to check the installed version of the zsh package.

Troubleshooting Zsh

If you encounter issues with Oh My Zsh not detecting the presence of Zsh, you can try the following solutions:

Solution 1: Install Git and Oh My Zsh

  1. Open a terminal and install git by running the command:
sudo apt install git

Git is a version control system that lets you manage and keep track of your source code history.

  1. Install Oh My Zsh by running the command:
sh -c "$(wget -O -)"

Here, wget is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the web. It supports HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, as well as retrieval through HTTP proxies.

Solution 2: Clone the Oh My Zsh Repository

  1. Open a terminal and install git by running the command:
sudo apt install git
  1. Clone the Oh My Zsh repository by running the command:
git clone ~/.oh-my-zsh

The git clone command copies an existing git repository.

  1. Copy the default configuration file by running the command:
cp ~/.oh-my-zsh/templates/zshrc.zsh-template ~/.zshrc

The cp command is used to copy files and directories. The files ~/.oh-my-zsh/templates/zshrc.zsh-template and ~/.zshrc are the source and destination files respectively.

  1. Set zsh as the default shell by running the command:
chsh -s $(which zsh)

The chsh command is used to change the login shell. The -s option is used to specify the shell name, and $(which zsh) is used to get the path of the zsh shell.

  1. Restart your terminal or log out and log back in for the changes to take effect.

By following these steps, you should be able to install and troubleshoot Zsh on Ubuntu 18.04 successfully. If you encounter any other issues, please refer to the Zsh documentation or seek help from the Zsh community.

Can I use Zsh as my default shell instead of Bash?

Yes, you can set Zsh as your default shell by running the command chsh -s $(which zsh).

How can I change the Zsh theme?

You can change the Zsh theme by modifying the ZSH_THEME variable in your ~/.zshrc file. You can choose from a variety of themes available in the Oh My Zsh repository.

How do I enable auto-completion in Zsh?

Zsh has built-in support for auto-completion. You can enable it by adding the following line to your ~/.zshrc file: autoload -U compinit && compinit.

Can I use my existing Bash aliases in Zsh?

Yes, you can use your existing Bash aliases in Zsh. Simply copy your Bash aliases from your ~/.bashrc file to your ~/.zshrc file.

How can I install plugins in Zsh?

To install plugins in Zsh, you can add the plugin name to the plugins array in your ~/.zshrc file. For example, if you want to install the git plugin, you can add git to the plugins array like this: plugins=(git). After making the change, remember to reload your Zsh configuration by running source ~/.zshrc.

How can I uninstall Zsh?

To uninstall Zsh, you can run the command sudo apt remove zsh. This will remove the Zsh package from your system. However, it will not remove any configuration files or plugins you may have installed. If you want to remove all traces of Zsh, you can also run rm -rf ~/.oh-my-zsh ~/.zshrc to delete the Oh My Zsh directory and your Zsh configuration file.

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