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Powerline is a statusline plugin for Vim, and provides statuslines and prompts for several other applications, including zsh, bash, tmux, IPython, Awesome, i3 and Qtile.


Powerline can be installed in multiple ways, depending on preference and/or usage intent.

Official repositories

Install powerline and powerline-fonts from the official repositories

Using python-pip

Using a vim plugin manager

There are many vim plugin managers available which are able to install and update Powerline, assuming you are using a version of vim with Python support or you install python. For example, using vim-plugAUR from the AUR, add the following to your vimrc file:

call plug#begin('path/to/vim/plugins/directory')

Plug 'powerline/powerline'

call plug#end()

Substitute path/to/vim/plugins/directory with the actual directory, such as ~/.vim/plugged, or ~/.local/share/nvim/plugged for Neovim, and run the vim-plug command :PlugInstall within vim. This will download Powerline from the Powerline GitHub page to the specified plugin directory and add it to vim.


Powerline uses special glyphs and symbols that will not appear correctly unless they are added to fontconfig or patched fonts are installed and used. The fontconfig and some patched fonts are available in the powerline-fonts package from the official repositories. A reduced set of fonts for the text console are available in powerline-console-fontsAUR.

Airline-vim alternative

There is currently one known alternative to Powerline - Vim-airline. It is a part of vim-plugins and can be installed separately as vim-airline. Optionally, install vim-airline-themes.

Special plugins

Depending on where you want to use Powerline, you might need to install additional packages.


After installing the package, you may need to add let g:powerline_pycmd="py3" or let g:powerline_pycmd="py" to your vimrc if you have more than one version of python installed.

Tip: By default, the statusline (and therefore Powerline) only appears when there are multiple windows open. To show it all the time, use :set laststatus=2
Tip: This package installs Powerline to /usr/share/vim/vimfiles/plugin, which vim is configured to check by default, meaning this will install Powerline in vim for all users and may require additional configuration. If this is not intended, consider either using a vim plugin manager, or installing the powerline package and adding set rtp+=/usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/powerline/bindings/vim to your vimrc.



After installing powerline and powerline-fonts. Add the following to your ~/.bashrc:

powerline-daemon -q
. /usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/powerline/bindings/bash/powerline.sh

Close and reopen your terminal and it should be working. If not, check the Powerline bash prompt usage instructions to ensure that it has not changed.


After installing powerline and powerline-fonts. Add the following to your ~/.zshrc:

powerline-daemon -q
. /usr/lib/python3.6/site-packages/powerline/bindings/zsh/powerline.zsh

Other plugins

For detailed usage instructions, such as configuring your system to use Powerline with other shells, window manager widgets, etc., please refer to the Usage section of the Powerline documentation.