I've always wanted to get that fancy Powerline status bar and prompt. Chevrons and git branch icons in the terminal just sounds so... defying:

Powerline screenshot

I'd failed to get it working properly before because of a combination of outdated Powerline docs and confusion between OS X's system python/vim and homebrew's python/vim. Some of my former colleagues detailed the pains and hours lost getting Powerline setup, so I gave up.

Anyway, I got a new Mac for work recently and decided to try again, and it was easier than I thought. You (including you, future Chu Yeow) can use this guide if you're using homebrew to install vim and python (and everything else like zsh and tmux).

Installing Powerline on OS X

  1. Install python with homebrew: brew install python
  2. Install vim with homebrew: brew install vim --env-std --override-system-vim. You must install vim after python so that it'll compile with homebrew's python.
  3. Install powerline with pip: pip install https://github.com/Lokaltog/powerline/tarball/develop. Powerline should get installed to /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/powerline.
  4. open /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/powerline - you should see the files required for integration with zsh, vim, tmux, etc. in the bindings directory. All you need to do now is to include these bindings in your zsh, vim and tmux config files - it's that simple!
  5. Add Powerline to vim by adding these lines to ~/.vimrc:
    source /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/powerline/bindings/vim/plugin/powerline.vim
    set laststatus=2
  6. Add Powerline to tmux by adding this to ~/.tmux.conf:
    source /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/powerline/bindings/tmux/powerline.conf
  7. Add Powerline to zsh by adding this to ~/.zshrc:
    source /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/powerline/bindings/zsh/powerline.zsh

    If you use oh-my-zsh, be sure to source the Powerline bindings after oh-my-zsh's.

  8. Grab a patched font from https://github.com/Lokaltog/powerline-fonts (I use Inconsolata), and install it (just download, double-click the font file, and Install). If you don't use any of these fonts, you'll have to patch your favorite font yourself (have fun with that!)

That's all you need! Go crazy and start tweaking your Powerline colorscheme.