friendly interactive shell = fish
fish is a smart and user-friendly command line
shell for macOS, Linux, and the rest of the family.
Pro Already set up for you
While other shells require a lot of set up to act the way you want them to and to have some useful features, fish works perfectly out of the box. It has all the most widely used features baked in and are there out of the box without having the need to install plugins or tweak any configuration files.
Pro High portability
Because it needs very little configuration to work properly, you can use Fish everywhere. If you are working on a system you don't usually work, installing Fish from the repository is easy and will give you the same experience as the installation on your own machine without having to drag a dotfile around.
Pro Less ambiguous lists
Here is a sample. Notice that there are 2 files with spaces in names. ls produces a valid list, and for loop correctly iterated through its values.
➤ for a in (ls); ls -l $a; end -rw-rw-r-- 1 sashka sashka 0 Apr 19 03:16 alma mater.txt -rw-rw-r-- 1 sashka sashka 0 Apr 19 03:16 whatever i want.txt
sh scripts tend to be fragile when there are lists containing values with spaces.
➤ echo $PATH /usr/bin /bin /usr/sbin /sbin /usr/local/bin ➤ echo $PATH /usr/bin ➤ echo $PATH[-1] /usr/local/bin
Pro Awesome, consistent, not-confusing sytax
The following, for example:
for file in (find . -name "*.foo" -type f)
fgrep -H "something" $file
echo "hello" $file
end | grep -v "hello"
Will run the for loop, take all the stdout from it (both the fgrep and echo), and then pipe it through the final grep command.
Con Not POSIX compliant
Although fish tries not to break POSIX compatibility without a good reason, and despite efforts to implement a compatibility mechanism, you can face some issues if POSIX compatibility is expected/required.
Though, enthusiasts fix these cases. For example, add
in your .vimrc to solve the issue for vim.
Con Doesn't support history expansion ("!!")
Fish has no support for
!!, but you can use Oh My Fish shell framework and install
bang-bang plugin to have this shortcut in Fish shell. The downside of using bang-bang is that it takes over ones default key bindings, for those that don't use them it should not be an issue but for those that do it is an annoyance to be considered.
sudo !!, this can also be achieved by making this custom function:
function sudo if test "$argv" = !! eval command sudo $history else command sudo $argv end end