Fix your posture with almostontop

In this post, I'm going to introduce a shell plugin that's been improving my terminal experience for over a year now: almostontop. If you do most of your work in the terminal, this plugin might be a life-saver for you. It was for me.

So what does it actually do? It's pretty simple: every time you enter a command in the prompt, it'll clear your screen! This effectively keeps your prompt "on top" (hence the name).

Here's a quick video demo:

With almostontop, you can stop having to crane your neck downwards while you're working. The change might look small (even a bit superfluous), but it's been a huge help for me.


almostontop is a zsh plugin. If you're a bash user, you can use alwaysontop, which does the same thing. If you use a different shell, you'll probably have to figure out something different (see the other shells section of this post).

If you're a zsh user, here are two ways you can install almostontop:

  1. Installing raw
  2. Installing with oh-my-zsh

Installing Raw

At the most basic level, visit the GitHub repository and download:

Put those files in a unified directory; you'll need to access it later. I recommend something like ~/.zsh-plugins/almostontop, so you can put other plugins in .zsh-plugins if/when you want them.

Now, you'll need to edit your ~/.zshrc to run the plugin when zsh starts up. This is as simple as doing the following:

$ echo "source ~/.zsh-plugins/almostontop/almostontop.plugin.zsh" >> ~/.zshrc

If you restart zsh, the plugin should be working! If it doesn't, make sure that the $ALMOSONTOP environment variable is set with the following:


Yes, the misspelling is intentional. If it's not set or false, run almostontop on.

Installing with oh-my-zsh

If you have oh-my-zsh, the installation is (slightly) easier. Download the repository and do the following:


And then in your ~/.zshrc, add almostontop to your plugins:

  # ...
  # ...

Restart zsh, and everything should be working!

Other Shells

As far as I know, only zsh and bash have plugins for this. However, you can easily emulate this behavior by taking advantage of "post-prompt" hooks that shells usually have.

For example, see this issue in the fish shell repository.

There are caveats to this, however, so the result won't be as clean as it is with zsh and bash.