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Frequently Asked Questions

This page aimed to help you fix the common problems encountered with Spaceship.

If you struggle with something, feel free to ask a question on our Discord server or on the GitHub Discussions forum:

Discord Discussions

Why doesn't my prompt look like the preview?

Preview shows spaceship prompt setup with:

See screenshots wiki for more color schemes examples.

How do I get command completion as shown in the demo GIF?

Use zsh-autosuggestions to get browser-like command completions based on history and completions.

What's the weird symbol before the git branch?

You need to have a Powerline patched font in order to properly display git branch symbol.

What's the weird character in front of a section?

This is not an issue with Spaceship prompt. Spaceship uses Unicode symbols to represent SPACESHIP_*_SYMBOL in sections. To solve this problem:

  • Verify your terminal emulator support Unicode characters with this command:
    curl -L
    # or
    wget -O -
  • Configure your terminal emulator to use UTF-8 as character encoding.
  • LC_ALL needs to be set to a UTF-8 value, like en_US.UTF-8 or de_DE.UTF-8, etc.
  • You need to install an emoji font. Most systems already have such font installed, but some systems don't (for example Arch Linux). You should install one via your preferred package manager. noto emoji is a popular choice. -

In case Unicode symbols aren't supported, you can replace them to those that are compatible with your terminal with SPACESHIP_*_SYMBOL options. Check out Options page for more information.

Do spaceship remove <section> and SPACESHIP_<SECTION>_SHOW=false do the same thing?

Both spaceship remove and SPACESHIP_<SECTION>_SHOW=false commands hide the section from the prompt, but they do this differently.

spaceship remove command removes the section from SPACESHIP_[R]PROMPT_ORDER variable, thus preventing the section from loading and executing.

SPACESHIP_<SECTION>_SHOW=false command doesn't prevent the section from loading and executing. The section will be loaded and then run, though the section itself will decide how to hide itself (usually, the section just skips all the checks and doesn't render anything).

tldr: spaceship remove forces Spaceship renderer to skip the section and SPACESHIP_<SECTION>_SHOW=false tells the section to hide itself.

What the difference between Spaceship and Starship?

Both Starship is a great prompt and have (more or less) feature parity with Spaceship. So what is the difference?

Starship is written in Rust and comes as a successor of Spacefish – a Fish implementation of the Spaceship prompt. It is heavily inspired by Spaceship prompt (they even confirm that on their website). It's also based on Denys Dovhan's ideas of cross-shell prompts that have been implemented in denysdovhan/robbyrussell-node as proof of concept.

Starship have advantage in supported shells, it works with roughly any shell. Spaceship is limited to Zsh, but uses most of the capabilities of Zsh.

Starship perform its checks asynchronously and renders the prompt as soon as it's ready. Spaceship not only performs checks asynchronously, but also renders the prompt right away and updates it as soon as new information comes from asynchronous tasks.

Spaceship considers custom sections as a first-class citizens and has a Registry of custom sections, whereas Starship suggests to use custom commands for creating custom modules.

If you use different machines with different shell prompts Starship might be a better choice for you. Spaceship is great if you prefer to use the same Zsh configuration of every machine you use.

What the difference between Spaceship and Powerlevel10k (with Lean style)?

Powerlevel10k (with Lean mode) is another Zsh prompt that might look very similar to Spaceship.

Both prompts are asynchronous and render the prompt as soon as it's ready. Powerlevel10k takes more monolith approach to prompt with tons of features built in a single prompt. Spaceship, however, takes a more modular approach to prompt with custom sections and more options for customizations.

On the other hand, Powerlevel10k suggests multiple design presets. Spaceship only supports one preset.

Some section icons overlap each other?

example of icons overlapping

This issue is related to how your terminal emulator renders Unicode 9 characters. To fix this issue:

  • Make sure terminal uses Unicode Version 9 Widths.
  • Let your terminal render ambiguous-width characters as double-width.

In iTerm follow these instructions:

  • Go iTerm → Preferences… (⌘,) → Profiles → Text
  • Check Unicode Version 9 Widths.
  • Check Threat ambiguous-width characters as double-width.
  • Reload terminal's tab.

Still can't find a solution?

If any of above does not help, please, ask a question on our Discord server or file an issue, describe your problem, and we will gladly help you.

Discord Discussions Open an Issue