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Rash: The Reckless Racket Shell

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Rash is a shell language, library, and REPL for Racket.

Use as a repl that is as convenient for pipelining programs as Bash is, but has all the power of Racket. Use as a scripting language with #lang rash. Embed in normal Racket files with (require rash), and mix freely with any other Racket language or library.

Rash is in active development, but it is largely stable (and the parts that aren't are marked as such). I use it as my default interactive shell on my laptop. It currently lacks the interactive polish of Zsh or Fish, but it is so much better as a language. Every script I've ported from a Bourne-related shell to Rash is more robust, simpler, easier to maintain, easier to expand, and much more fun.

Getting started


Rash does work on windows, but it works better and is more useful on unix based systems.

To install, you will need a working installation of racket v6.12 or later.


You can either install with racket's built in package manager, raco, or install directly from github. If you have DrRacket installed, you can install rash with File -> Install Package.

via raco:

raco pkg install rash

git version:

git clone rash && cd rash/linea && raco pkg install && cd ../shell-pipeline && raco pkg install && cd ../rash && raco pkg install


use raco pkg install --clone rash


The Rash REPL currently relies on Racket's Readline FFI wrapper. However, by default Racket uses libedit instead of libreadline for licensing reasons. Libedit does not support unicode, so typing non-ASCII characters will result in sadness. To use libreadline instead, run raco pkg install readline-gpl. Note that the readline-gpl Racket package needs a libreadline shared library to be installed on your system, so you may need to install a libreadline package using your system package manager. For example, on Debian-based distributions you can install by running sudo apt install --yes libreadline-dev.


Run with racket -l rash/repl --, or with rash-repl if you have Racket's package bin/ directory on your path.

Online documentation is here. After installation, local documentation can be accessed with raco docs rash.

The project web site has a quick demo video of Rash in action.

I published a paper about Rash in GPCE 2018.

This repo also contains the shell-pipeline and linea packages. They mostly support Rash itself, so they live in the same repo.


Feel free to ask questions in issues, to join the matrix room, to email me, etc.