I’ve recently spent some time reworking my dotfiles repo. Up to this point, I’ve mostly just taken what someone else has made available, changed it to work just enough for me, and left it at that. Finally, I’ve put in some time to update them so that they’ll work better for me.

As part of this transition, I’ve made the move from Antigen over to Zgen. It’s not really a big change, but I like the fact that with Zgen, you only run the update check when you want to, and not every single time that a new shell loads. Of course, this opens you up to the possibility of updating everything on a cron as well (which I’d highly recommend).

My dotfiles were originally taken from Holman‘s dotfiles repo. As you do with dotfiles repos, I’ve modified them quite a bit since I first copied his repo, and I need to do some updating to get some of the more recent stuff that he’s added, but for now they’re working for me.

Configuring Zgen

Installing Zgen is easy:

git clone https://github.com/tarjoilija/zgen.git "${HOME}/.zgen"

Next up, you’ll need to add zgen (and install plugins) in your .zshrc file, like this:

source "${HOME}/.zgen/zgen.zsh"
if ! zgen saved; then
echo "Creating a zgen save"
    zgen oh-my-zsh

    # plugins
    zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/git
    zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/sudo
    zgen oh-my-zsh plugins/command-not-found
    zgen load zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting
    zgen load zsh-users/zsh-history-substring-search
    zgen load bhilburn/powerlevel9k powerlevel9k
    zgen load junegunn/fzf

    # completions
    zgen load zsh-users/zsh-completions src

    # theme
    zgen oh-my-zsh themes/arrow

    # save all to init script
    zgen save
fi

Those are the plugins that I’m currently using, though I’m looking for more that might be useful. Now, you get all of these awesome things without having to install them all separately, plus whatever else you add. And because you’re using Zgen, not Antigen, they’ll only update (& check for updates) when you want them to, rather than every single time that you open your shell.

To update your plugins (which you should definitely do periodically), all you have to do is run zgen update. It really couldn’t be simpler!

Once I get more done with my dotfiles, I’ll throw more of it up here so you can check it out. Until then, I hope this is helpful!