Elevate your CLI experience: Zellij

Posted Jan 07, 2024  ‐  2 min read


Terminal multiplexer is very useful when you work in a CLI environment, especially over SSH. Zellij is a modern tool in this area. But it's not only a terminal multiplexer. It's a workspace. Appart from using tabs and panes, you can also use there plugins written in any compiled language.


Let's install Zellij.

cargo install --force zellij

Cargo install is a preferred way to install Zellij. But there are also precompiled packages for many systems.

Here is how a sample session could look like.



There is an extensive documentation about Zellij configuration.

Let's start with creation of a configuration file.

mkdir ~/.config/zellij
zellij setup --dump-config | save ~/.config/zellij/config.kdl

There are a lot of customizations that you can do. I like a default shortcuts, so I'll not change anything in this area. I want to customize two things now - default shell and theme.

To change a default shell, you need to find default_shell option.

default_shell "nu"

Customizing Zellij theme is also a simple task.

themes {
   practicalrs {
       fg 208 217 215
       bg 4 4 4
       red 192 35 16
       green 37 125 16
       yellow 188 120 0
       blue 0 50 123
       magenta 112 59 108
       orange 203 145 14
       cyan 59 150 191
       black 4 4 4
       white 208 217 215

theme "practicalrs"

Here is how Zellij looks like after applying this theme.


You can find my Zellij config file in prs-configs repository.


Zellij is in active development state. You can find the latest news on blog and @Zellij_dev.

Tools usage disclosure. I'm not a native English speaker. I use the following tools to improve my wording: Google Translate, Grammarly, and Hemingway Editor. These tools use artificial intelligence. I use them only to improve my writing, not to generate content.