Excellent Utilities: Zellij – terminal workspace with batteries included

Last Updated on January 6, 2023

In Operation

Here’s an image of the default configuration.

Default configuration of Zellij

At the top is the tab-bar plugin which shows the current tabs. In the image above, we only have 1 tab. The main part is the pane in which our bash shell is started. And at the bottom is the status-bar plugin which provides an overview of the (default) keybindings. For example, to create a new tab, the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + t, followed by n (for new). For a new pane press Alt + n.

One of the first things you’ll want to do is to create a layout. This lets us define a map of panes in a configuration file. This is a great feature as it lets you have panes and tabs set up exactly how you want. The arrangement of panes and tabs is defined in a text file. KDL is the configuration language used. KDL is a document language with xml-like semantics that looks like you’re invoking a bunch of CLI commands.

What else does Zellij offer? There are floating panes, command panes and scrollback editing.

Floating panes with Zellij
Click image for full size

Zellij has a configuration file that allows you to set up your own config.

Other features of the software include:

  • Sensible keybindings which can be overridden to your own personal preference.
  • Themes support.
  • Can be configured through the command line.
  • A WebAssembly plugin system. This allows plugin developers to write their plugin in any compiled language. The project includes some prebuilt plugins.

Next page: Page 3 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
AES CryptEncrypt files using the Advanced Encryption Standard
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
brootNext gen tree explorer and customizable launcher
CerebroFast application launcher
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
CopyQAdvanced clipboard manager
crocSecurely transfer files and folders from the command-line
DeskreenLive streaming your desktop to a web browser
dufDisk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df
ezaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
Extension ManagerBrowse, install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
fkillKill processes quick and easy
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
horcruxFile splitter with encryption and redundancy
KoohaSimple screen recorder
KOReaderDocument viewer for a wide variety of file formats
ImagineA simple yet effective image optimization tool
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
lsdLike exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls
Mark TextSimple and elegant Markdown editor
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
notiMonitors a command or process and triggers a notification
NushellFlexible cross-platform shell with a modern feel
nvitopGPU process management for NVIDIA graphics cards
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
Oh My ZshFramework to manage your Zsh configuration
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
pastelGenerate, analyze, convert and manipulate colors
PDF Mix ToolPerform common editing operations on PDF files
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
RnoteSketch and take handwritten notes
scrcpyDisplay and control Android devices
StickySimulates the traditional “sticky note” style stationery on your desktop
tldrSimplified and community-driven man pages
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
Whoogle SearchSelf-hosted and privacy-focused metasearch engine
ZellijTerminal workspace with batteries included
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments