New powerline goodies in Debian

About powerline

Powerline does some font substitutions that allow additional theming for terminal applications such as tmux, vim, zsh, bash and more. The powerline font has been packaged in Debian for a while now, and I’ve packaged two powerline themes for vim and zsh. They’re currently only in testing, but once my current todo list on packages look better, I’ll upload them to stretch-backports.

For vim, vim-airline

vim-airline is different from previous vim powerline plugins in that it doesn’t depend om perl or python, it’s purely implemented in vim config files.


Here’s a gif from the upstream site, they also demo various themes on there that you can get in Debian by installing the vim-airlines-themes package.

Vim Airline demo gif

How to enable

Install the vim-airline package, and add the following to your .vimrc file:

" Vim Airline theme
let g:airline_theme='powerlineish'
let g:airline_powerline_fonts = 1
let laststatus=2

The vim-airline-themes package contains additional themes that can be defined in the snippet above.

For zsh, powerlevel9k


Here’s a gif from upstream that walks through some of its features. You can configure it to display all kinds of system metrics and also information about VCS status in your current directory.

Powerline demo gif

Powerlevel9k has lots of options and features. If you’re interested in it, you should probably take a look at their readme file on GitHub for all the details.

How to enable

Install the zsh-theme-powerlevel9k package and add the following to your to your .zshrc file.

source /usr/share/powerlevel9k/powerlevel9k.zsh-theme

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5 Responses

  1. Thanks for doing this! Out of curiosity, you might know: is there any plan or proposal or effort for the glyphs in the powerline patch to be added to Unicode? Some of them, like the git branch symbol, would seem to be a good idea, and not already available; perhaps someone could even make a case for the triangles etc. that are defined to stretch from the very corners of their cell. It would be nice onee day to not actually need the patched fonts.

  2. Qobi says:

    Isn’t that also available to Bash an well?

  1. 22 November 2017

    […] New powerline goodies in Debian […]

  2. 25 December 2017

    […] wurde vor einiger Zeit einiges Powerline-Zeugs grad auch ins Debian-Repo aufgenommen (natürlich genau nachdem ich alles (also eigentlich nur die Powerline-Fonts und […]

  3. 12 July 2019

    […] I wrote a blog post on vim-airline and powerlevel9k shortly after packaging those: New powerline goodies in Debian. […]

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