When I started Powerlevel9k on the evening of December 4th in 2014, my goal wasn't to create a large project, but really just to create a highly customized ZSH prompt with some features I couldn't find elsewhere. Looking back on it, this commit message is now pretty comical:

A few months later, this Dominik Ritter fellow began submitting PRs. And then others joined in, I started collecting contributions, and discussions grew on the issue tracker. P9k started gathering momentum, and has now grown to the point that I can't remember the last time it wasn't on Github's Trending page for shell programs. Last year, one of our community members contributed our logo:

P9k has maintained more than 2500 unique cloners per 2-week period for the last six or seven months, which means we are well into the tens-of-thousands of users range.

It regularly appears in the wild by way of blog posts, YouTube videos, and the like, and has occasionally appeared in some really surprising places. My favorite thus far was its cameo in the SHAttered announcement about breaking SHA-1:

There are now other projects based on P9k, and even a few that bundle it. What started as a quickly hacked-together tool to solve my problem has grown into a thriving community.

If I had known it would ever grow beyond me, honestly, I would have picked a different name. I picked powerlevel9k because I thought the power level 9000 reference was humorous and the use of the word power was punny (because it uses power-line fonts), but now that thousands of people are using it the name seems rather trite, hah.

While P9k is a relatively minor project, it is yet another example of the power and success of open-source software and communities. It's exciting every time I see someone new using it, talking about it, or sharing something they have created with it, and I'm especially happy when P9k serves as the project for someone's first open-source contribution.

I want to especially acknowledge and thank everyone that has ever contributed to P9k. The project has only achieved what it has because of your involvement, and I'm very appreciative. If you're ever in the Washington D.C. area, shoot me a note and let's grab a pint =)

If this post was your introduction to P9k, welcome to the project, and head to the P9k website to learn more about how to get started!

Ben Hilburn

Ben Hilburn

bits, nibbles, bytes, and words
D.C. Metro Area