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Zsh Snap

⚡️ Znap! The fast & light-weight Zsh plugin manager that's easy to grok. Also functions as a generic Git repo manager.

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Znap is the light-weight Git repo manager for Zsh that's easy to grok. While tailored to managing Zsh plugins and dotfiles specifically, Znap also makes it easier to work with multiple Git repos in general.

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Just copy-paste the following into your command line and press Enter:

git clone --depth 1 --
source zsh-snap/install.zsh



  • Zsh 5.7.1 or newer
  • Git 2.8 or newer


  • Zsh 5.4.2


To update Znap and all of your plugins/repos simultaneously, run

% znap pull

Dotfiles Usage

Using Znap to manage your plugins can be as simple as putting this in your .zshrc file:

# Download Znap, if it's not there yet.
[[ -f ~/Git/zsh-snap/znap.zsh ]] ||
    git clone --depth 1 -- \ ~/Git/zsh-snap

source ~/Git/zsh-snap/znap.zsh  # Start Znap

# `znap prompt` makes your prompt visible in just 15-40ms!
znap prompt sindresorhus/pure

# `znap source` automatically downloads and starts your plugins.
znap source marlonrichert/zsh-autocomplete
znap source zsh-users/zsh-autosuggestions
znap source zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting

# `znap eval` caches and runs any kind of command output for you.
znap eval iterm2 'curl -fsSL'

# `znap function` lets you lazy-load features you don't always need.
znap function _pyenv pyenvn 'eval "$( pyenv init - --no-rehash )"'
compctl -K    _pyenv pyenv

For more examples of what Znap can do for your dotfiles, please see the included .zshrc file.

Additionaly, Znap makes it so that you actually need to have less in your .zshrc file, by automating several tasks for you.

Automatic compinit and bashcompinit

Note that the above example does not include any call to complist, compinit, or bashcompinit in the .zshrc file. That is because Znap will run these for you as needed.

Asynchronous compilation

Znap compiles your scripts and functions in the background. This way, your shell will start up even faster next time!

Should you not want this feature, you can disable it with

zstyle ':znap:*' auto-compile no

In any case, you can compile sources manually at any time with znap compile [ <dir> | <file> ] ....

Automatic cache invalidation

Znap automatically regenerates your comp dump file whenever you install or update a repo or change your .zshrc file.

Znap also automatically regenerates its internal cache for each command when…

  • …a cache file is older than the Git index of its associated repo.
  • …the last argument of the znap eval statements that produced it has changed. So, if the last argument to znap eval contains a variable, then its cached output will be regenerated whenever the variable changes. See the example .zshrc file for a practical use of this.
  • …the cache file is missing. You can delete them manually from $XDG_CACHE_HOME/zsh-snap/eval.

Automatic git maintenance

When using git 2.31.0 or newer, Znap automatically enables git maintenance in each repo that it manages. This automatically optimizes your repos in the background, so that your git and znap commands will run faster.

To selectively disable this feature, add

zstyle ':znap:*:<glob pattern>' git-maintenance off

to your .zshrc file. Next time you run znap pull, git maintenance will then be disabled for each repo whose name matches <glob pattern>.

Use * as your glob pattern to opt out of this feature completely.

Command-Line Usage

Znap also makes life on the command line easier. For a full list of available commands, just run

% znap

Exhaustive tab-completion is available, too. For examples of the most important command-line features, see below.


  • The examples in this section you should run on the command line, not add to your .zshrc file!
  • % represents the prompt. You shouldn't type that part. 🙂

Install executables and completion functions

Znap can download multiple repos in parallel, then automatically find and install their executables and completion functions, with just one command:

% znap install asdf-vm/asdf aureliojargas/clitest bigH/git-fuzzy \
    ekalinin/github-markdown-toc ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh zsh-users/zsh-completions

To remove these (and their repos), use znap uninstall:

% znap uninstall asdf clitest git-fuzzy \
    github-markdown-toc ohmyzsh zsh-completions

Executables are installed in ~/.local/bin, while completion functions go to ${XDG_DATA_HOME:-~/.local/share}/zsh/site-functions.

Install generated functions

Some commands generate output that should be loaded as a function. You can install these generated functions as follows:

% znap fpath _kubectl 'kubectl completion  zsh'
% znap fpath _rustup  'rustup  completions zsh'
% znap fpath _cargo   'rustup  completions zsh cargo'

These functions, too, are saved to ${XDG_DATA_HOME:-~/.local/share}/zsh/site-functions.

Named dirs

Znap makes your repos dir and all of its subdirs available as named directories:

% cd ~znap                  # `cd` to your repos dir
% cd ~[github-markdown-toc] # `cd` to a repo
% ls ~[asdf]/completions    # `ls` a subdir in a repo


© 2020-2021 Marlon Richert


This project is licensed under the MIT License. See the LICENSE file for details.