Make Bash utilities usable in Fish shell
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edc Merge pull request #56 from thatneat/patch-1
Specify fish version compatibility
Latest commit 7aae6a8 Apr 11, 2018


Bass makes it easy to use utilities written for Bash in fish shell.

Regular bash scripts can be used in fish shell just as scripts written in any language with proper shebang or explicitly using the interpreter (i.e. using bash However, many utilities, such as virtualenv, modify the shell environment and need to be sourced, and therefore cannot be used in fish. Sometimes, counterparts (such as the excellent virtualfish) are created, but that's often not the case.

Bass is created to make it possible to use bash uilities in fish shell without any modification. It works by capturing what environment variables are modified by the utility of interest, and replay the changes in fish.


Bass is compatible with fish versions 2.6.0 and later.


Use the Makefile.

make install will copy two files to ~/.config/fish/functions/.

make uninstall will remove those two files.

Relaunch the shell for the change to take effect.

Using Fisherman

fisher edc/bass

You are recommended to use Fisherman > 2.0.

Using fundle


fundle plugin 'edc/bass'

to your fish config, relaunch the shell and run fundle install.


Bass is simple to use. Just prefix your bash utility command with bass:

> bass export X=3
> echo $X

Notice that export X=3 is bash syntax. Bass "transported" the new bash environment variable back to fish.

Bass has a debug option so you can see what happened:

> bass -d export X=4
# updating X=3 -> 4
set -g -x X 4


Here is a more realistic example, using the excellent nvm:

> bass source ~/.nvm/ --no-use ';' nvm use iojs
Now using io.js v1.1.0

Note that semicolon is quoted to avoid being consumed by fish.

This example takes advantage of the nvm bash utility to switch to iojs. After the command, iojs is accessible:

> which iojs

You can then very easily pack the command as a function and feel more at home:

> funced nvm
nvm> function nvm
           bass source ~/.nvm/ --no-use ';' nvm $argv

> nvm list
->  iojs-v1.1.0
> nvm ls-remote

(--no-use is an important option to See #13 for background.)


At the moment, Bass may or may not work with your favorite interactive utilities, such as ssh-add. Reopen and add a comment to #14 if you encounter an issue related to that.