Git info in your ZSH Prompt

Recently I discovered vcs_info recently. This nicely replaces the horrible hack I was using previously to show current Git status. vcs_info works with VCSes besides Git, and it handles some of the magic and keeps your .zshrc clean, so those are nice benefits.

I used some Unicode to display colored circles. Green if there are staged changes, yellow if there are unstaged changes, and red if there are new untracked-yet-unignored files. Below is a picture.

I like this because I'm constantly forgetting to git add newly-created files. Then I have to add them and amend my commit, and so on. I like a prompt that reminds me that new files showed up that need to be added or ignored.


autoload -Uz vcs_info

zstyle ':vcs_info:*' stagedstr '%F{28}●'
zstyle ':vcs_info:*' unstagedstr '%F{11}●'
zstyle ':vcs_info:*' check-for-changes true
zstyle ':vcs_info:(sv[nk]|bzr):*' branchformat '%b%F{1}:%F{11}%r'
zstyle ':vcs_info:*' enable git svn
precmd () {
    if [[ -z $(git ls-files --other --exclude-standard 2> /dev/null) ]] {
        zstyle ':vcs_info:*' formats ' [%F{green}%b%c%u%F{blue}]'
    } else {
        zstyle ':vcs_info:*' formats ' [%F{green}%b%c%u%F{red}●%F{blue}]'


setopt prompt_subst
PROMPT='%F{blue}%n@%m %c${vcs_info_msg_0_}%F{blue} %(?/%F{blue}/%F{red})%% %{$reset_color%}'


ZSH and Git


As you can see in the screenshot, when you have a brand new Git repo (no commits yet), vcs_info fails to show you that there are files staged. It works OK after you have at least one commit though.

vcs_info doesn't (yet?) handle showing untracked files. So I hacked a function to support it.

Finding a good Unicode symbol that displays nicely in monospace font was annoying. If I ever change fonts, I'll likely have to pick a new symbol. It also doesn't display too well in a real tty. Or over SSH when using Putty. So I may have to scrap the stoplights and use plus-signs or something. Sigh.