Karl Kedrovsky

Zsh and Solarized

For a while now I’ve been hearing that all the cool kids are using zsh and the solarized color scheme and I finally got a chance to try them out a couple of weeks ago.


Zsh has a number of apparent advantages over bash, the shell I’ve been using for eons. I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface but here are a few of the features that I’m liking better than bash. And yes, I know that bash may have some of these or they can be added to bash, I just like the way they work in zsh better.

I’ve also found that starting with oh-my-zsh is a Good Thing. It’s a “framework” for configuring your shell, the git plugin is worth the five minutes you’ll spend setting it up.


Solarized is a color scheme designed for terminals and gui applications. A ton of thought and testing has gone into the selection of colors and, in my opinion, is a lot better than any color scheme I’ve tried. As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that my eyes get tired sooner, I need a lot more contrast and I just suffer more overall from eye strain that I used to. Solarized helps me a lot. The only thing I needed to add to the stock release was a Solarized xfce4-terminal color scheme. Solarized has become so popular that it should be a simple matter of googling for what might be missing.