Touring my terminal

Terminal Asciicast

My configuration:

I live in the terminal. Whether I’m at work on my MacBook Air, or at home on my Dell XPS13, I’ve got at least one full screen window that’s all terminal.

Here’s a rundown of what I’m using. Where appropriate, I’ve linked to my configuration files.


In my terminals I either use Inconsolata or FiraCode, a beautiful fixed-width font with ligatures that will blow your mind. Inconsolata looks better at small sizes, so I tend to stay with it on my Mint box where I run at a higher resolution.


Some of my coworkers and friends are die hard advocates for zsh, but I prefer the ubiquity of bash. I know it so well and I’ve customized things just the way I like them. Plus, on the off chance my system is bare-bones, I like knowing that my environment will work.

My configuration for bash breaks up the normal start-up scripts like .bashrc into multiple files, like .environment and .alias so I can keep organized. I also have an ever-growing collection of functions I have found or written that speed me along.

Take one example: fe (source)

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# fe [FUZZY PATTERN] - Open the selected file with the default editor
#   - Bypass fuzzy finder if there's only one match (--select-1)
#   - Exit if there's no match (--exit-0)
fe() {
  local files
  IFS=$'\n' files=($(fzf-tmux --query="$1" --multi --select-1 --exit-0))
  [[ -n "$files" ]] && ${EDITOR:-vim} "${files[@]}"

This comes from the author of the amazing fuzzy-finder fzf. It’s a super fast tool for fuzzy-finding anything. Files, tags, bookmarks, it doesn’t matter. FZF is designed to work with whatever. This script allows me to type fe and fuzzy-find files in the directory tree. Once I’ve typed enough to highlight what I want, I hit enter and it opens in vim.


The shell would be a terribly simple and boring place without the ability to create new windows, panes, and sessions. Tmux solves all that with style. If you are familiar with tmux, my set up probably looks strange. I’ve customized the look a ton, and I’ve rebound basically every operation. Have a look at my tmux.conf for the goodies.

One thing I want to note here is that I don’t like using the fancy patched fonts you’ll see in Powerline. Not every system I am on has the ability for me to install and use custom fonts. Instead I use some subtle color changes to create gradients. I think they look nice, don’t you?

I keep sessions for broad categories of activities, like “personal” and “work” and “writing”. I have some script I’ve written in Bash that make use of the session name, too. My todo program is context-aware.


I’ve written about vim before. It’s the best editor. It’s not hard to learn, despite what people say. Focus on learning the movement keys and get away from the arrows as quickly as possible. I don’t just mean HJKL movement keys, but $ ^ 0 w e b M ) } and so on. Use them until they’re natural, then learn the action keys. Everything in vim is done by composing actions and movements, so once you know how to move the rest comes quick.

My theme is romainl’s Apprentice. It’s soft on the eyes but gives me enough visual separation when coding. When working with prose I make heavy use of the Pencil plugin series as well as Goyo and Limelight to go full-screen and focus. My vimrc is pretty well annotated if you want to browse it.


Finally, I use weechat to hop on IRC and keep in touch with everyone. I didn’t include a link to a config here because my weechat isn’t very portable at the moment. Different systems have different plugin support. I use a lot of buffers on SDF, but just one on Regardless, weechat is very powerful. If you don’t use IRC yet and want to get started, your best bet is either weechat or irssi. Both are great.

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