The user-friendly command line shell.
Shell C++ Python C Makefile M4 Other
Latest commit 7bb3bf7 Dec 4, 2016 @krader1961 krader1961 fix regression from commit 20bcbcc
There were two places in the code that used the anti-pattern of
returning True on success else an error message. In python you should
always be able to replace `if x == True:` with just `if x:`. Which is
what the lint tool recommended. Unfortunately I didn't notice how the
return value was being used. This fixes that by changing the two
affected functions to return an error message or None on success.

This also adds `from __future__ import print_function` since the code
uses the `print(msg)` function form rather than the `print msg`
statement form. The former works by accident on python2 because the
parens are interpreted as creating parenthesized expression that
devolves to the single string inside the parens. So while the future
import isn't strictly speaking necessary it will help avoid mistakes in
the future if more complex `print()` calls are added.

Partial fix for #3620
Failed to load latest commit information.
.github Update issue template for 2.4.0 Nov 8, 2016
build_tools enable `make style-all` doing fish scripts Dec 4, 2016
debian debian packaging: avoid autoreconf on old platforms Dec 2, 2016
doc_src Fix status code when bad command name is entered Dec 3, 2016
etc It's `status --is-interactive` (#3086) May 29, 2016
fish.xcodeproj Add -Wno-unreachable-code to PCRE in Xcode build Dec 2, 2016
m4 Enable C++11 in autotools build Nov 26, 2016
osx Update osx/config.h with HAVE_FLOCK macro Dec 3, 2016
pcre2-10.21 Let git normalize line-endings upon commit (LF) Aug 1, 2016
po fix handling input in the C locale Aug 13, 2016
share fix regression from commit 20bcbcc Dec 5, 2016
src time for another `make style-all` Dec 4, 2016
tests Fixes behavior of 'x' in normal mode Dec 2, 2016
.clang-format config clang-format to ignore oclint pragmas May 5, 2016
.cppcheck.rules cppcheck: warn on use of flock Dec 3, 2016
.cppcheck.suppressions fix some lint warnings Nov 16, 2016
.editorconfig Added .editorconfig file (#3332) (#3313) Aug 25, 2016
.gitattributes .gitignore additions & fixes Aug 11, 2016
.gitignore Add aclocal.m4 to .gitignore Nov 26, 2016
.oclint disable oclint BitwiseOperatorInConditional warning Oct 29, 2016
.travis.yml Travis: move ASan back to Linux for full features Oct 16, 2016 Merge branch 'Integration_2.4.0' Nov 8, 2016 implement custom cppcheck rules Jun 18, 2016
COPYING add flock fallback Dec 3, 2016
Dockerfile math requires bc package Jan 22, 2015
Doxyfile Improve comments, update Doxyfile Jun 12, 2016 Silence the Makefile build Jul 31, 2016
Doxyfile.user Silence the Makefile build Jul 31, 2016 Makefile: skip the open manpage on OS X Dec 3, 2016 Update README to describe automake dependency Nov 26, 2016
config.guess Update to latest config.sub and config.guess versions May 28, 2015
config.sub Update to latest config.sub and config.guess versions May 28, 2015 configure: force use of `-pthread` on Solaris Dec 3, 2016 Rename "snippets" to "conf" internally, and document them as snippets Apr 6, 2016 fish.spec: hostname dependency for openSUSE Apr 28, 2016
install-sh Update install-sh Sep 9, 2016 Fix documentation Jul 17, 2016

fish - the friendly interactive shell Build Status

fish is a smart and user-friendly command line shell for OS X, 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.

Quick Start

fish generally works like other shells, like bash or zsh. A few important differences can be found at by searching for the magic phrase "unlike other shells".

Detailed user documentation is available by running help within fish, and also at


fish requires a C++11 compiler. It builds successfully with g++ 4.8 or later, or with clang 3.3 or later.

fish can be built using autotools or Xcode. autoconf 2.60 or later, as well as automake 1.13 or later, are required to build from git versions. These are not required to build from released tarballs.

fish depends on a curses implementation, such as ncurses. The headers and libraries are required for building.

fish requires PCRE2 due to the regular expression support contained in the string builtin. A copy is included with the source code, and will be used automatically if it does not already exist on your system.

fish requires gettext for translation support.

Building the documentation requires Doxygen 1.8.7 or newer.

Autotools Build

autoreconf --no-recursive [if building from Git]
make [gmake on BSD]
sudo make install

Xcode Development Build

  • Build the base target in Xcode
  • Run the fish executable, for example, in DerivedData/fish/Build/Products/Debug/base/bin/fish

Xcode Build and Install

xcodebuild install
sudo ditto /tmp/fish.dst /

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

Runtime Dependencies

fish requires a curses implementation, such as ncurses, to run.

fish requires PCRE2 due to the regular expression support contained in the string builtin. A bundled version will be compiled in automatically at build time if required.

fish requires a number of utilities to operate, which should be present on any Unix, GNU/Linux or OS X system. These include (but are not limited to) hostname, grep, awk, sed, which, and getopt. fish also requires the bc program.

Translation support requires the gettext program.

Usage output for builtin functions is generated on-demand from the installed manpages using nroff and ul.

Some optional features of fish, such as the manual page completion parser and the web configuration tool, require Python.

In order to generate completions from man pages compressed with either lzma or xz, you may need to install an extra Python package. Python versions prior to 2.6 are not supported. To process lzma-compresed manpages, backports.lzma is needed for Python 3.2 or older. From version 3.3 onwards, Python already includes the required module.

Packages for Linux

Instructions on how to find builds for several Linux distros are at

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 to fish is in your /etc/shells file.

Use the following command if you didn't already add your fish path to /etc/shells.

echo /usr/local/bin/fish | sudo tee -a /etc/shells

To switch your default shell back, you can run:

chsh -s /bin/bash

Substitute /bin/bash with /bin/tcsh or /bin/zsh as appropriate.

You may need to logout/login for the change (chsh) to take effect.

Contributing Changes to the Code

See the Guide for Developers.

Contact Us

Questions, comments, rants and raves can be posted to the official fish mailing list at or join us on our channel or IRC channel #fish at Or use the fish tag on Stackoverflow.

Found a bug? Have an awesome idea? Please open an issue on this github page.