I wanted to maintain multiple configurations for zsh: one for my day job, and one for the big screen on the nights that I am teaching. My goal was to make the school shell look as close to what my students would be using, but I didn’t want to go so far as to have to keep two different shell configurations in my brain.

So the changes are mostly cosmetic (muscle memory requires that I keep my shell aliases if nothing else).

First Attempts

I figured I would need to create a new iTerm profile (maybe there was a better starting point?) so I created one called Class and I poked around with setting an environment variable with the shell as well as trying plain bash (which is what the students would be using).

Help from iTerm

While I was experimenting with how to do this in iTerm, I noticed that the current iTerm profile is reflected in the shell environment variables, so I decided to try and branch my configuration based on that.

# ~/.zshenv

# default to, well, "default"
export ZSH_PROFILE=${${ITERM_PROFILE:=default}:l}

[[ -f "${ZSH_DIR}/profiles/${ZSH_PROFILE}.env.zsh" ]] &&
    source "${ZSH_DIR}/profiles/${ZSH_PROFILE}.env.zsh"

And I use it to set things like the default editor; I use Atom for class.

# File: ~/.zsh/profiles/class.env.zsh

export EDITOR="atom -w"
export IN_CLASS

While I keep my work configuration separate:

# ~/.zsh/profiles/default.env.zsh

export EDITOR="emacsclient -nw"

I also used the same technique in the ~/.zshrc file to split out configurations between work and class

# ~/.zshrc
[[ -f "${ZSH_DIR}/profiles/${ZSH_PROFILE}.rc.zsh" ]] &&
    source "${ZSH_DIR}/profiles/${ZSH_PROFILE}.rc.zsh"

I plan to split out the prompts as well. I can at least make the class prompt look like the bash prompt my students will see.