fish - the friendly interactive shell
fish is a smart and user-friendly command line shell for macOS, Linux, and the rest of the family. fish includes features like syntax highlighting, autosuggest-as-you-type, and fancy tab completions that just work, with no configuration required.
For more on fish's design philosophy, see the design document.
fish generally works like other shells, like bash or zsh. A few important differences can be found at https://fishshell.com/docs/current/tutorial.html by searching for the magic phrase "unlike other shells".
Detailed user documentation is available by running
help within fish, and also at https://fishshell.com/docs/current/index.html
You can quickly play with fish right in your browser by clicking the button below:
fish can be installed:
- using Homebrew:
brew install fish
- using MacPorts:
sudo port install fish
- using the installer from fishshell.com
- as a standalone app from fishshell.com
Packages for Linux
Packages for Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux/CentOS are available from the openSUSE Build Service.
Packages for Ubuntu are available from the fish PPA, and can be installed using the following commands:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:fish-shell/release-3 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install fish
Instructions for other distributions may be found at fishshell.com.
- On Windows 10, fish can be installed under the WSL Windows Subsystem for Linux with
sudo apt install fishor from source with the instructions below.
- Fish can also be installed on all versions of Windows using Cygwin (from the Shells category).
Building from source
Once installed, run
fish from your current shell to try fish out!
Running fish requires:
- curses or ncurses (preinstalled on most *nix systems)
- some common *nix system utilities (currently
seq), in addition to the basic POSIX utilities
- gettext (library and
gettextcommand), if compiled with translation support
The following optional features also have specific requirements:
- builtin commands that have the
--helpoption or print usage messages require
- automated completion generation from manual pages requires Python (2.7+ or 3.3+) and possibly the
backports.lzmamodule for Python 2.7
fish_configweb configuration tool requires Python (2.7+ or 3.3 +) and a web browser
- system clipboard integration (with the default Ctrl-V and Ctrl-X bindings) require either the
- full completions for
- full completions for
Switching to fish
If you wish to use fish as your default shell, use the following command:
chsh -s /usr/local/bin/fish
chsh will prompt you for your password and change your default shell. (Substitute
/usr/local/bin/fish with whatever path fish was installed to, if it differs.)
Use the following command if fish isn't already added to
/etc/shells to permit fish to be your login shell:
echo /usr/local/bin/fish | sudo tee -a /etc/shells
To switch your default shell back, you can run
chsh -s /bin/bash (substituting
/bin/zsh as appropriate).
Compiling fish requires:
- a C++11 compiler (g++ 4.8 or later, or clang 3.3 or later)
- any of CMake, GNU Make, or (on macOS only) Xcode
- a curses implementation such as ncurses (headers and libraries)
- PCRE2 (headers and libraries) - a copy is included with fish
- gettext (headers and libraries) - optional, for translation support
Additionally, if compiling fish with GNU Make from git (that is, not from an officially released tarball),
autoconf 2.60+ and
automake 1.13+ are required. Doxygen (1.8.7 or later) is also optionally required to build the documentation from a cloned git repository.
Building from source (all platforms)
Using CMake (preferred)
mkdir build; cd build cmake .. make sudo make install
autoreconf --no-recursive #if building from Git ./configure make sudo make install
Building from source (macOS only)
- Build the
basetarget in Xcode
- Run the fish executable, for example, in
To build and install fish with Xcode on macOS, execute the following in a terminal:
xcodebuild install sudo ditto /tmp/fish.dst / sudo make install-doc
Help, it didn't build!
If fish reports that it could not find curses, try installing a curses development package and build again.
On Debian or Ubuntu you want:
sudo apt-get install build-essential ncurses-dev libncurses5-dev gettext autoconf
On RedHat, CentOS, or Amazon EC2:
sudo yum install ncurses-devel
Contributing Changes to the Code
See the Guide for Developers.
Questions, comments, rants and raves can be posted to the official fish mailing list at https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/fish-users or join us on our gitter.im channel or IRC channel #fish at irc.oftc.net. Or use the fish tag on Stackoverflow for questions related to fish script and the fish tag on Superuser for all other questions (e.g., customizing colors, changing key bindings).
Found a bug? Have an awesome idea? Please open an issue.