Powerline for vim and bash prompt

Powerline is very cool status line for vim and easy to setup. It also supports shell prompt. But Powerline-shell is better for shell prompt because it can suppor version control information.

Installing fonts

  • Installing font on Mac
    1. Download font file form github
      wget https://github.com/powerline/powerline/raw/develop/font/PowerlineSymbols.otf
    2. Open Finder and double click the font file to open preview window
    3. Click button “Install Font” to install font to user folder
    4. Changing font for iTerm2 or Terminal (Preferences –> Profile –> Text –> Non-AsCII Font)
  • Installing fonts on Windows
    1. Download font from Fantasque Sans Mono
    2. Unzip the font file and click all ttf font files to install
    3. Change font for Putty or other terminal tools

Installing Powerline-shell

  • Clone powerline-shell repository and install it
    git clone [email protected]:banga/powerline-shell.git
    cd powerline-shell
    cp config.py.dist config.py
    vi config.py # edit it before running install.py. if it is changed later, you need run install.py again
  • Creating a powerline-shell.py link at home directory
    cd ~/
    ln -s ~/powerline-shell/powerline-shell.py # powerline-shell repository folder is ~/powerline-shell
  • Editing .bashrc or .bash_profile or .profile and add the following lines
function _update_ps1() {
    PS1="$(~/powerline-shell.py --cwd-max-depth 3 --colorize-hostname $? 2> /dev/null)"

if [ "$TERM" != "linux" ]; then

Installing Powerline for Vim

  • Installing powerline
    pip install powerline-status #for python2
    pip3 install powerline-status #for python3
  • Installing macvim (For Mac OS X only)
    brew install macvim --env-std --with-override-system-vim
  • Checking python version supported by Vim. If no python, it won’t work for next step
    vim --version | grep +python
  • Editing .vimrc and add the following lines
    # for python2
    python from powerline.vim import setup as powerline_setup
    python powerline_setup()
    python del powerline_setup


    # for python3
    python3 from powerline.vim import setup as powerline_setup
    python3 powerline_setup()
    python3 del powerline_setup
Written on April 20, 2017