Benoit Galati
by Benoit Galati
1 min read


  • debian
  • tmux
  • vim
  • zsh

Install Powerline

Recently, I wanted to install Powerline as simply as possible on Debian Jessie. Here is a my feedback.

  • Activate backports in /etc/apt/sources.list
deb jessie-backports main contrib non-free
  • Install Powerline
sudo apt update && sudo apt-get install -t jessie-backports powerline

Voila ! Powerline is installed (Yea, even my grand mother could have done it hahaha). Now we are going to see how you can use it with zsh, tmux, and vim.

Powerline’s settings with zsh, tmux and vim

The secret is the following : RTFM of Debian (/usr/share/doc/powerline/README.Debian).

On my part, I am using it like so (with some extra parameters compared to Debian doc to make sure everything is ok) :

  • zsh
# ~/.zshrc
export TERM="xterm-256color"
source /usr/share/powerline/bindings/zsh/powerline.zsh
  • tmux
# ~/.tmux.conf
run-shell "powerline-daemon -q" # Powerline recommends it but it's normally useless
source "/usr/share/powerline/bindings/tmux/powerline.conf"
set -g default-terminal "screen-256color"
  • vim
" ~/.vimrc
python from powerline.vim import setup as powerline_setup
python powerline_setup()
python del powerline_setup
set laststatus=2 " Always show statusline
set t_Co=256

I am sure you have noticed that each time we must set the 256 colors mode otherwise it cannot work.

To finish, all my personal config is in my dotfiles repository. Questions / Suggestions are welcomed ;-).