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Pretty, minimal and fast ZSH prompt


Most prompts are cluttered, ugly and slow. I wanted something visually pleasing that stayed out of my way.


  • Comes with the perfect prompt character. Author went through the whole Unicode range to find it.
  • Shows git branch and whether it's dirty (with a *).
  • Indicates when you have unpushed/unpulled git commits with up/down arrows. (Check is done asynchronously!)
  • Prompt character turns red if the last command didn't exit with 0.
  • Command execution time will be displayed if it exceeds the set threshold.
  • Username and host only displayed when in an SSH session.
  • Shows the current path in the title and the current folder & command when a process is running.
  • Makes an excellent starting point for your own custom prompt.


Can be installed with npm or manually. Requires Git 2.0.0+ and ZSH 5.2+. Older versions of ZSH are known to work, but they are not recommended.


$ npm install --global pure-prompt

That's it. Skip to Getting started.


  1. Either…
  1. Symlink pure.zsh to somewhere in $fpath with the name prompt_pure_setup.

  2. Symlink async.zsh in $fpath with the name async.


$ ln -s "$PWD/pure.zsh" /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/prompt_pure_setup
$ ln -s "$PWD/async.zsh" /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/async

Run echo $fpath to see possible locations.

For a user-specific installation (which would not require escalated privileges), simply add a directory to $fpath for that user:

# .zshenv or .zshrc 
fpath=( "$HOME/.zfunctions" $fpath )

Then install the theme there:

$ ln -s "$PWD/pure.zsh" "$HOME/.zfunctions/prompt_pure_setup"
$ ln -s "$PWD/async.zsh" "$HOME/.zfunctions/async"

Getting started

Initialize the prompt system (if not so already) and choose pure:

# .zshrc 
autoload -U promptinit; promptinit
prompt pure



The max execution time of a process before its run time is shown when it exits. Defaults to 5 seconds.


Set PURE_GIT_PULL=0 to prevent Pure from checking whether the current Git remote has been updated.


Set PURE_GIT_UNTRACKED_DIRTY=0 to not include untracked files in dirtiness check. Only really useful on extremely huge repos like the WebKit repo.


Time in seconds to delay git dirty checking for large repositories (git status takes > 5 seconds). The check is performed asynchronously, this is to save CPU. Defaults to 1800 seconds.


Defines the prompt symbol. The default value is .


Defines the git down arrow symbol. The default value is .


Defines the git up arrow symbol. The default value is .


# .zshrc 
autoload -U promptinit; promptinit
# optionally define some options 
prompt pure


In the screenshot you see Pure running in Hyper with the hyper-snazzy theme and Menlo font.

The Tomorrow Night Eighties theme with the Droid Sans Mono font (15pt) is also a nice combination.
Just make sure you have anti-aliasing enabled in your terminal.

To have commands colorized as seen in the screenshot, install zsh-syntax-highlighting.



  1. Set ZSH_THEME="" in your .zshrc to disable oh-my-zsh themes.
  2. Follow the Pure Install instructions.

NOTE: oh-my-zsh overrides the prompt so Pure must be activated after source $ZSH/


Pure is bundled with Prezto. No need to install it.

Add prompt pure to your ~/.zpreztorc.


Pure is bundled with Zim. No need to install it.

Set zprompt_theme='pure' in ~/.zimrc.


Update your .zshrc file with the following two lines (order matters). Do not use the antigen theme function.

antigen bundle mafredri/zsh-async
antigen bundle sindresorhus/pure


Update your .zshrc file with the following two lines (order matters):

antibody bundle mafredri/zsh-async
antibody bundle sindresorhus/pure


Update your .zshrc file with the following two lines:

zplug mafredri/zsh-async, from:github
zplug sindresorhus/pure, use:pure.zsh, from:github, as:theme


I am stuck in a shell loop in my terminal that asks me to authenticate. What should I do?

This is a known issue. Using git pull when you get the username prompt should help you to break the loop by giving you a real prompt for this. This has been fixed in git 2.3

I am seeing the error zpty: can't open pseudo terminal: bad file descriptor.

This is a known issue. zsh/zpty requires either legacy bsd ptys or access to /dev/ptmx. Here are some known solutions.


$ sudo sh -c "echo 'SANDBOX_WRITE=\"/dev/ptmx\"' > /etc/sandbox.d/10zsh"
$ sudo emerge -1 zsh

FreeBSD 10.1

On a default setup, running the command kldload pty should do the trick. If you have a custom kernel, you might need to add device pty to the configuration file (example).



Sindre Sorhus Mathias Fredriksson
Sindre Sorhus Mathias Fredriksson


MIT © Sindre Sorhus