The user-friendly command line shell.
Shell C++ Python C Makefile CMake Other
ridiculousfish Add locking to try_complete_user
This uses the thread-unsafe getpwent(). Add a lock around the whole section
to avoid the crash identified in #5088
Latest commit c636a45 Jul 16, 2018
Failed to load latest commit information.
.github change the github issue template Mar 1, 2017
build_tools Drop hard dependency on bash from `` again Jun 1, 2018
cmake Revert "Blow away existing $fish_data_dir on (re)install" Jun 1, 2018
debian debian packaging: switch to CMake builds Mar 4, 2018
doc_src Revert "license.hdr: add Apache2 license for wcwidth9" Jul 14, 2018
etc It's `status --is-interactive` (#3086) May 29, 2016
fish.xcodeproj Add fish_feature_flags.cpp to Xcode project May 22, 2018
m4 Enable C++11 in autotools build Nov 26, 2016
osx Merge branch 'Integration_2.7.1' Jan 1, 2018
pcre2-10.22 [cmake] Correct bad MSVC rule in PCRE CMakeLists.txt file Mar 10, 2018
po Fix crash in `wait` in english Apr 10, 2018
share Improve eopkg completions by using the `--installed` flag (#5089) Jul 10, 2018
src Add locking to try_complete_user Jul 15, 2018
tests Add string join0 Jul 1, 2018
.clang-format config clang-format to ignore oclint pragmas May 5, 2016
.cppcheck.rules remove pointless flock() lint warning May 10, 2017
.cppcheck.suppressions lint: replace `getpwuid()` with `getpwuid_r()` May 11, 2017
.editorconfig Add max_line_length to .editorconfig Jun 15, 2017
.gitattributes Update .gitattributes for muparser Oct 8, 2017
.gitignore Stop ignoring .out files in tests/ directory Apr 18, 2018
.oclint Tell `oclint` to ignore another idiom that is safe Sep 9, 2017
.travis.yml travis: move to in-tree builds Feb 1, 2018
BSDmakefile Fix accidental recursive invocation of `make` under BSD Jul 5, 2018 Improve eopkg completions by using the `--installed` flag (#5089) Jul 10, 2018
CMakeLists.txt [cmake] Add flags for different build types and set default value Jun 18, 2018 Fix typo in doc Feb 20, 2018
COPYING add flock fallback Dec 3, 2016
Dockerfile math requires bc package Jan 22, 2015
Doxyfile Delete trailing spaces Jan 15, 2017 Silence the Makefile build Jul 31, 2016
Doxyfile.user Silence the Makefile build Jul 31, 2016 Add support for feature flags May 6, 2018 add try in browser button to launch fish playground Apr 23, 2018
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 Use constexpr for is_windows_subsystem_for_linux() Mar 5, 2018 Make wcwidth configurable (#4816) Mar 25, 2018 Upgrade git:// and http:// URLs to https:// Feb 17, 2017 fish.spec: switch to cmake builds May 29, 2018
install-sh Update install-sh Sep 9, 2016 Document && and || Mar 5, 2018

fish - the friendly interactive shell Build Status

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.

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

You can quickly play with fish right in your browser by clicking the button below:

Try in browser

Getting fish


fish can be installed:

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-2
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fish

Instructions for other distributions may be found at


  • On Windows 10, fish can be installed under the WSL Windows Subsystem for Linux with sudo apt install fish or 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

If packages are not available for your platform, GPG-signed tarballs are available from and fish-shell on GitHub. See the Building section for instructions.

Running fish

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 mktemp and seq), in addition to the basic posix utilities
  • gettext (library and gettext command), if compiled with translation support

The following optional features also have specific requirements:

  • builtin commands that have the --help option or print usage messages require nroff and ul
  • automated completion generation from manual pages requires Python (2.7+ or 3.3+) and possibly the backports.lzma module for Python 2.7
  • the fish_config web 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 xsel or pbcopy/pbpaste utilities

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/bash with /bin/tcsh or /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 .. #  add -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release for release build
sudo make install

Using autotools

autoreconf --no-recursive #if building from Git
sudo make install

Building from source (macOS only)

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

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.

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 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 on this github page.