A package manager for the fish shell
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fisher.fish 3.1.1 Oct 21, 2018



Build Status Releases

Psst! Migrating from V2 to V3? See our migration guide & happy upgrading!

Fisher is a package manager for the fish shell. It defines a common interface for package authors to build and distribute their shell scripts in a portable way. You can use it to extend your shell capabilities, change the look of your prompt and create repeatable configurations across different systems effortlessly.


  • Zero configuration
  • Oh My Fish package support
  • High-speed concurrent package downloads⌁!
  • If you've installed a package before, you can install it again offline
  • Add, update and remove functions, completions, key bindings and configuration snippets from a variety of sources using the command line, editing your fishfile or both


Download fisher to your fish functions directory or any directory in the fish function path.

curl https://git.io/fisher --create-dirs -sLo ~/.config/fish/functions/fisher.fish

Your shell can take a few seconds before refreshing the function path. If fisher is not immediately available after the download is complete, you can launch a new session, or replace the current session with a new one.

Note: If the XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable is defined on your system, use $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/fish to find the path to your fish configuration directory.


  • fish 2.0+ (prefer 2.3 or newer)
  • curl 7.10.3+
  • git 1.7.12+

Bootstrap installation

To automate installing Fisher and the packages listed in your fishfile on a new system, add the following code to your fish configuration file.

if not functions -q fisher
    set -q XDG_CONFIG_HOME; or set XDG_CONFIG_HOME ~/.config
    curl https://git.io/fisher --create-dirs -sLo $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/fish/functions/fisher.fish
    fish -c fisher

Changing the installation prefix

Use the $fisher_path environment variable to change the location where functions, completions, and configuration snippets will be copied to when a package is installed. The default location will be your fish configuration directory.

set -g fisher_path /path/to/another/location

set fish_function_path $fish_function_path[1] $fisher_path/functions $fish_function_path
set fish_complete_path $fish_complete_path[1] $fisher_path/completions $fish_complete_path

for file in $fisher_path/conf.d/*.fish
    builtin source $file 2> /dev/null

Do I need this? It depends. If you want to keep your own functions, completions, and configuration snippets separate from packages installed with Fisher, you can customize the installation prefix. If you prefer to keep everything in the same place, you can skip this. If you are not sure, feel free to create an issue and ask.

Legacy fish support

Stuck in fish 2.2 or older and can't upgrade your shell? We got you covered. You'll need to run configuration snippets manually on shell startup. Open your fish configuration file and add the following code to the beginning of the file.

set -q XDG_CONFIG_HOME; or set XDG_CONFIG_HOME ~/.config
for file in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/fish/conf.d/*.fish
    builtin source $file 2>/dev/null


You've found an interesting utility you'd like to try out. Or perhaps you've created a package yourself. How do you install it on your system? You may want to update or remove it later too. How do you do that?

You can use Fisher to add, update, and remove packages interactively, taking advantage of fish tab completion and syntax highlighting. Or edit your fishfile and commit your changes. Do you prefer a CLI-centered approach, text-based approach, or both?

Adding packages

Install packages using the add command followed by the path to the repository on GitHub.

fisher add jethrokuan/z rafaelrinaldi/pure

A username or organization name is required. To install a package from anywhere else, use the address of the server and the path to the repository. HTTPS is always assumed so you don't need to specify the protocol.

fisher add gitlab.com/jorgebucaran/mermaid

To install a package from a tag, branch or a commit-ish, specify the reference following an @ symbol after the package name. If none is given, we'll use the latest code.

fisher add edc/bass@20f73ef jethrokuan/z@pre27

You can also install packages from a local directory. Local packages are managed through symbolic links so that they can be developed and used at the same time.

fisher add ~/path/to/myfish/pkg

You can only install one package version at a time. If two packages depend on a different version of the same package, the first one that gets installed will take precedence over the other.

Listing packages

List all the packages that are currently installed using the ls command. This includes packages you didn't install yourself but were installed on your system as a dependency of another package.

fisher ls

Removing packages

Remove packages using the rm command. If a package has dependencies, they too will be removed. If any dependencies are still shared by other packages, they will remain installed.

fisher rm rafaelrinaldi/pure

You can remove everything that is currently installed in one sweep using the following pipeline.

fisher ls | fisher rm

Updating packages

Run fisher to update everything you've installed. There is no dedicated update command. Using the command line to add and remove packages is a facade for modifying and committing changes to your fishfile in a single step.

Looking for a way to update fisher itself? Use the self-update command.

fisher self-update

Other commands

Use the help command to display usage help on the command line.

fisher help

Last but not least, use the version command to display the current version of fisher.

fisher version

Using the fishfile

Whenever you add or remove a package from the command line we'll write to a text file in ~/.config/fish/fishfile. This is your fishfile. It lists every package that is currently installed on your system. You should add this file to your dotfiles or version control if you want to reproduce your configuration on a different system.

You can edit this file to add or remove packages and then run fisher to commit your changes. Only the packages listed in this file will be installed after fisher returns. If a package is already installed, it will be updated. Empty lines and anything after a # symbol (comments) will be ignored.

vi ~/.config/fish/fishfile
- rafaelrinaldi/pure
- jethrokuan/z@pre27
+ FabioAntunes/fish-nvm

# my local packages

That will remove rafaelrinaldi/pure and jethrokuan/z, add FabioAntunes/fish-nvm and update the rest.

Package concepts

Packages help you organize shell scripts into reusable, independent components that can be shared through a git URL or the path to a local directory. Even if your package is not meant to be shared with others, you can benefit from composition and the ability to depend on other packages.

The structure of a package can be adopted from the fictional project described below. These are the files that fisher looks for when installing or uninstalling a package. Of course, you can elaborate on this to add tests, documentation, and other files such as README and LICENSE files. The name of the root directory can be anything you like.

├── fishfile
├── functions
│   └── kraken.fish
├── completions
│   └── kraken.fish
└── conf.d
    └── kraken.fish

If your project depends on other packages, it should list them as dependencies in a fishfile. There is no need for a fishfile otherwise. The rules concerning the usage of the fishfile are the same rules we've already covered in using the fishfile.

While some packages contain every kind of file, some packages contain only functions or configuration snippets. You are not limited to a single file per directory either. There can be as many files as you need or only one as in the next example.

└── kraken.fish

The lack of private function scope in fish causes all package functions to share the same namespace. A good rule of thumb is to prefix functions intended for private use with the name of your package to reduce the possibility of conflicts.

Creating your own package

The best way to show you how to create your own package is by building one together. Our first example will be a function that prints the raw non-rendered markdown source of a README file from GitHub to standard output. Its inputs will be the name of the owner, repository, and branch. If no branch is specified, we'll use the master branch.

Create the following directory structure and function file. Make sure the function name matches the file name, otherwise fish won't be able to autoload it the first time you try to use it.

└── readme.fish
function readme -a owner repo branch
    if test -z "$branch"
        set branch master
    curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/$owner/$repo/$branch/README.md

You can install it with the add command followed by the path to the directory.

fisher add /absolute/path/to/fish-readme

The next logical step is to share it with others. How do you do that? Fisher is not a package registry. Its function is to fetch fish scripts and put them in place so that your shell can find them. To publish a package put your code online. You can use GitHub, GitLab or BitBucket or anywhere you like.

Now let's install the package again, this time from its new location. Open your fishfile and replace the local version of the package we previously added with the URL of the remote repository. Save your changes and run fisher.

- /absolute/path/to/fish-readme
+ jorgebucaran/fish-readme

You can leave off the github.com part of the URL when adding or removing packages hosted on GitHub. If your package is hosted anywhere else, the address of the server is required.

Configuration snippets

Configuration snippets consist of all the fish files inside your ~/.config/fish/conf.d directory. They are evaluated on shell startup and generally used to set environment variables, add new key bindings, etc.

Unlike functions or completions which can be erased programmatically, we can't undo a fish file that has been sourced without creating a new shell session. For this reason, packages that use configuration snippets provide custom uninstall logic through an uninstall event handler.

Let's walk through an example that uses this feature to add a new key binding for the Control-G sequence that opens your fishfile in the vi editor. When you install the package, fishfile_quick_edit_key_bindings.fish will be sourced, adding the specified key binding and loading the event handler function. When you uninstall it, we'll emit an uninstall event where the key binding will be erased.

└── conf.d
    └── fishfile_quick_edit_key_bindings.fish
bind \cg "vi ~/.config/fish/fishfile"

set -l name (basename (status -f) .fish){_uninstall}

function $name --event $name
    bind -e \cg


You wish to know how to uninstall fisher and everything you've installed with it from your system. Or perhaps something went wrong and you want to start over. This command will uninstall all the packages, purge the cache, and remove fisher from your fish functions directory.

fisher self-uninstall


Fisher is MIT licensed. See the LICENSE for details.