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A package manager for shell scripts.
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A package manager for shell scripts and functions.

Basher allows you to quickly install shell packages directly from github (or other sites). Instead of looking for specific install instructions for each package and messing with your path, basher will create a central location for all packages and manage their binaries for you.

Even though it is called basher, it also works with zsh and fish.

Build Status


  1. Checkout basher on ~/.basher

    $ git clone ~/.basher
  2. Initialize basher in your shell initialization

    export PATH="$HOME/.basher/bin:$PATH"'
    eval "$(basher init -)"

    Fish: Use the following commands instead:

    if test -d ~/.basher
      set basher ~/.basher/bin
    set -gx PATH $basher $PATH
    status --is-interactive; and . (basher init -|psub)


Go to the directory where you cloned basher and pull the latest changes:

$ cd ~/.basher
$ git pull


Installing packages from Github

$ basher install sstephenson/bats

This will install bats from and add bin/bats to the PATH.

Installing packages from other sites

$ basher install

This will install repo_name from

Using ssh instead of https

If you want to do local development on installed packages and you have ssh access to the site, use --ssh to override the protocol:

$ basher install --ssh juanibiapina/gg

Installing a local package

If you develop a package locally and want to try it through basher, use the link command:

$ basher link directory my_namespace/my_package

The link command will install the dependencies of the local package. You can prevent that with the --no-deps option:

$ basher link --no-deps directory my_namespace/my_package

Sourcing files from a package into current shell

Basher provides an include function that allows sourcing files into the current shell. After installing a package, you can run:

include username/repo lib/

This will source a file lib/ under the package username/repo.

Command summary

  • basher commands - List commands
  • basher help <command> - Display help for a command
  • basher uninstall <package> - Uninstall a package
  • basher list - List installed packages
  • basher outdated - List packages which are not in the latest version
  • basher upgrade <package> - Upgrade a package to the latest version

Configuration options

To change the behavior of basher, you can set the following variables either globally or before each command:

  • BASHER_FULL_CLONE=true - Clones the full repo history instead of only the last commit (useful for package development)
  • BASHER_PREFIX - set the installation and package checkout prefix (default is $BASHER_ROOT/cellar). Setting this to /usr/local, for example, will install binaries to /usr/local/bin, manpages to /usr/local/man, completions to /usr/local/completions, and clone packages to /usr/local/packages. This allows you to manage "global packages", distinct from individual user packages.


Packages are simply repos (username/repo). You may also specify a site (site/username/repo).

Any files inside a bin directory are added to the path. If there is no bin directory, any executable files in the package root are added to the path.

Any manpages (files ended in \.[0-9]) inside a man directory are added to the manpath.

Optionally, a repo might contain a file which specifies binaries, dependencies and completions in the following format:


BINS specified in this fashion have higher precedence then the inference rules above.

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