My Mac Terminal configuration

Mac Terminal is the Non Plus Ultra. Let me share my configuration, in particular I want to remember that font! R.I.P. Steve.



Ok, let me get this straight: I use the Pro terminal profile. I always loved transparency effect in terminals.

Then I want a nice monospace font, possibly with ligatures. Go for FiraCode by tonsky. Font size, of course, is up to you: mine is 14 pt. Turn on Antialias text.

Another default configuration that I suggest to change is:

I often use CTRL D to close the shell, and I mean it so no confirmation is required.


Switch language

I often need to switch language since the US keyboard is the best layout in my opinion for programming, so it is useful to have a shortcut. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources and flag Select the previous input source.

switch language shortcut

This is a good solution if you need to switch on two languages, in my case US an IT: the shortcut CTRL SPACE will do the trick.

Screen recording

When I discover it I said:

Yes, I ❤ Mac!

On Mojave you have a native screen recorder, invoke it with COMMAND SHIFT 5. It also manage screeshots.

Map Caps Lock to Escape

As a Vim user I cannot resist to Map Caps Lock to Escape. Open System Preferences > Keyboard, click on Modifier Keys. Then choose to map Caps Lock to Escape.

map caps lock to escake


I like simplicity, and bash is ok to me. But now Mac set zsh as default shell. So, simpler solution wins! I switched to zsh too.

I am using the following configuration files:


This tip can prevent many issues, add this to your ~/.zshenv to specify a locale or change it accordingly.

export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8


I could not find a zsh prompt that I like. Probably you will find one, there are many that you may like.

I created my own. It is really minimal:

  1. it shows only the current folder path but only its parent and the folder itself, not the complete path.
  2. it shows the git branch if any.

Paste the following in your ~/.zshrc.

# Shell prompt
autoload -Uz vcs_info
precmd() { vcs_info }
zstyle ':vcs_info:git:*' formats '%b · '
PROMPT='${vcs_info_msg_0_}%2~/ '

Other zsh configurations I use

# Do not enter command lines into the history list
# if they are duplicates of the previous event.
setopt histignorealldups

# CTRL-L to clear history and scrollback buffer
# Credits:
function clear-scrollback-buffer {
  clear && printf '\e[3J'
  zle && zle .reset-prompt && zle -R
zle -N clear-scrollback-buffer
bindkey '^L' clear-scrollback-buffer && history -p


Create a ~/.zsh folder to contain autocompletion definitions and other zsh stuff

mkdir ~/.zsh

The following code to your ~/.zshrc will update $fpath adding the ~/.zsh folder where, in particular, you can write into.

# Autocompletion
fpath=(~/.zsh $fpath)
autoload -Uz compinit
compinit -i

For example on GitHub CLI documentation here they say

Generate a _gh completion script and put it somewhere in your $fpath

In our case this translates to the following command

gh completion -s zsh > ~/.zsh/_gh

To add git completion requires the following steps: get the completion scripts (both bash and zsh are required)

curl -o ~/.zsh/_git
curl -o ~/.zsh/git-completion.bash

And add the following to your ~/.zshrc

# git completion
zstyle ':completion:*:*:git:*' script ~/.zsh/git-completion.bash

Another nice autocompletion feature

# Small letters will match small and capital letters
zstyle ':completion:*' matcher-list 'm:{a-z}={A-Za-z}'

You may also want to take a look to zsh-autosuggestions.


Cannot live without these aliases. Put them, in shared ~/.shell/ and load them ~/.zshrc with source ~/.shell/

# Aliases

# Use `vi` for NeoVim, `vim` for good old `Vim`.
alias vi='nvim '

alias ls='ls -G'
alias ',,'='cd .. && pwd'
alias ','='ls -Galrth'

alias ga='git add .'
alias gd='git diff'
alias gc='git commit '
alias gl='git log --graph'
alias gpl='git pull '
alias gps='git push '
alias gpsf='git push --force-with-lease'
alias gs='git status'

alias ns='npm start'
alias nt='npm test'

Run also the following commands to set git aliases:

# Modify previous commit
git config --global alias.amend "commit --amend"
# List files with merge conflicts
git config --global alias.conflicts "diff --name-only --diff-filter=U"
# Reset previous commit, but keep all the changes from that commit in the working directory.
git config --global alias.undo "reset HEAD~1 --mixed"

Dev tools


I am using NVM to manage different versions of Node.JS.

I also want to switch to Node.JS version automatically when I enter a folder containing a .nvmrc file.

Once installed I add the following to my ~/.zshrc

# Node Version Manager
export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/"

# invoke `nvm use` automatically in a directory with a .nvmrc file
autoload -U add-zsh-hook
load-nvmrc() {
  local node_version="$(nvm version)"
  local nvmrc_path="$(nvm_find_nvmrc)"

  if [ -n "$nvmrc_path" ]; then
    local nvmrc_node_version=$(nvm version "$(cat "${nvmrc_path}")")

    if [ "$nvmrc_node_version" = "N/A" ]; then
      nvm install
    elif [ "$nvmrc_node_version" != "$node_version" ]; then
      nvm use --silent
  elif [ "$node_version" != "$(nvm version default)" ]; then
    nvm use default --silent
add-zsh-hook chpwd load-nvmrc


It happens often that different projects need some specific environment variables. I found direnv the perfect tool to achieve that.

After installing it, for example with homebrew

brew install direnv

Add it to your ~/.zshrc

# direnv
eval "$(direnv hook zsh)"