fish is a smart and user-friendly command line shell for Linux, macOS, and the rest of the family.

Updating fish

webi fish@stable

Use the @beta tag for pre-releases.

Cheat Sheet

Finally, a command line shell for the 90s!

fish includes features like syntax highlighting, autosuggest-as-you-type, and fancy tab completions that just work, with no configuration required.

"fish features"

fish is an excellent command line shell for day-to-day file browsing and running commands (the BEST, in fact).

However, it is NOT compatible with bash so you should still write and run your scripts with bash.

This also covers how to

  • Run bash scripts with bash
  • Set vim to keep using bash
  • Set fish as the default shell in Linux
  • Set fish as the default shell in various Terminals
    • Terminal.app
    • iTerm2
    • Hyper
    • Alacritty
  • Find fish's config files
  • Set the default shell back to bash

How to run bash scripts from fish

A bash script should have a "bash shebang" (#!/bin/bash) as the first line of the file:

#!/bin/bash

echo "Who am I? I'm $(whoami)."

You can also run bash explicitly:

bash ./some-script.sh

How to set the fish Color Scheme

You may like to have your fish theme match your Terminal or iTerm2 theme (such as Solarized, Dracula, or Tomorrow Night).

fish_config colors

How to set vim to keep using bash

The first line of your .vimrc should always be set shell=/bin/bash.

~/.vimrc:

set shell=/bin/bash

How to make fish the default shell on Linux

This requires editing a protected system file, /etc/shells. It is better to use the Terminal-specific methods.

First, fish must be installed and in the PATH.

# if you don't see a file path as output, fish is not in the path
which fish

Second, fish must be in the system-approved list of shells in /etc/shells:

#!/bin/bash

if ! grep $(which fish) /etc/shells > /dev/null; then
    sudo bash -c "echo '$(which fish)' >> /etc/shells";
    echo "added '$(which fish)' to /etc/shells"
fi

You should use chsh to change your shell:

#!/bin/bash

sudo chsh -s "$(which fish)" "$(whoami)"

If vim uses fish instead of bash, annoying errors will happen.

How to switch to fish

You can simply type fish and hit enter to start using fish from any other shell.

You can also set is as the default for a particular Terminal, or for your user.

How to set fish as the Terminal.app shell

Find out where fish is:

which fish

Then update the Terminal preferences:

Terminal > Preferences > General > Shells open with:
/Users/YOUR_USER/.local/bin/fish

Terminal.app preferences

Or, you can quit Terminal and change the preferences from the command line:

#!/bin/bash

defaults write com.apple.Terminal "Shell" -string "$HOME/.local/bin/fish"

How to set fish as the iTerm2 shell

Find out where fish is:

which fish

Then update iTerm2 preferences:

iTerm2 > Preferences > Profiles > General > Command >
Custom Shell: /Users/YOUR_USER/.local/bin/fish

iTerm2 Preferences

Or, you can quit iTerm2 and change the preferences from the command line:

#!/bin/bash

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "SET ':New Bookmarks:0:Custom Command' 'Custom Shell'" \
    ~/Library/Preferences/com.googlecode.iterm2.plist

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "SET ':New Bookmarks:0:Command' 'Custom Shell' '$HOME/.local/bin/fish'" \
    ~/Library/Preferences/com.googlecode.iterm2.plist

How to set fish as the Hyper shell

Hyper is configured with JavaScript.

~/.hyper.js:

module.exports = {
  config: {
    // ...
    shell: process.env.HOME + '/.local/bin/fish'
  }
};

How to set fish as the Alacritty shell

~/.config/alacritty/alacritty.yml should contain the shell config:

shell:
  program: /Users/YOUR_USER/.local/bin/fish
  args:
    - --login

If you don't yet have an alacritty config, this will do:

#!/bin/bash

mkdir -p ~/.config/alacritty

cat << EOF >> ~/.config/alacritty/alacritty.yml:
shell:
  program: $HOME/.local/bin/fish
  args:
    - --login
EOF

The default alacritty.yml is included as an asset with each Github release.

Where is the fish config?

Fish will be installed to the standard user location:

~/.local/opt/fish/

It's config will also go in the standard user location:

~/.config/fish/config.fish

How to set the default shell back to bash

See the instructions above for "How to make fish the default shell in X", but use /bin/bash as the path instead of $HOME/.local/bin/fish.

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