You probably already know about the popular shells like bash and zsh. Let us explore some interesting and unique shells.
  1. Fish Shell

  2. Nushell

  3. Dune

  4. Xonsh

  5. Hilbish

  6. Elvish

  7. Oh

  8. Solidity

  9. Yash


None of these pique mine interest enough to try them, but I was surprised that the oil shell didn’t make an appearance. Besides fish and nushell, it was the only alternative shell I’d heard of.

@lemmyreader I can recommend Fish shell.

I’m a huge fan of nushell

I’ve been using fish for years, and highly recommend it. In particular, I find that fish has excellent contextual completion based on folder as well as great highlighting.

I tried and liked it a lot years ago. But the piping wasn’t asynchronous so you have to wait the full completion of the first command for the next.

I’m not sure about the current state but if that is fixed I would happily fully switch.

Looks like the latest version streams output from one command to the other. For example, when I run for i in (seq 1 5); sleep 1; echo $i; end | cat I see the numbers show up one at a time.

I used dash as my /bin/sh due to it being a lot lighter & faster than bash.

Right now I’m trying out ion as my interactive shell and so far it works great.

Fish is cool tho.

Maybe one day I will actually understand the appeal of all these super fancy shells. They seem kinda cool on the surface but I also feel like I’d never use any of their actual features.

But have you tried them?

I’ve actually used Fish on my old system. I didn’t use it as daily driver. Now I’ve installed Manjaro, and it uses ZSH by default. And now I can compere them, and oh my, Fish auto-completion is way better. it’s interactive, showing command names and help on them. and allow to select completion by arrows, not [Tab].

Only downside of fish is that it is incompatible with Bash. In Zsh you could copy-paste bash commands from tutorials and they would just work, but in Fish you need ot alter them, for example $(cmd) is just (cmd) in Fish.

Fish is slowly adding more POSIX syntax, e.g. $(cmd), export ENV_VAR=1 and CFLAGS=-02 make now work as you would expect.

WOW! Gotta install it again. I was actually planing on it. But was lazy.

Truthfully, I’ve not tried them.

I was about to make a comment along the lines of “I’ve already learned how to do command line things, my OS already comes with a few shells, why SHOULD I take the time to learn a new shell?” — but then I reflected on this and realized something: it’s the same thing as saying “Windows comes with Explorer/Edge, why SHOULD I go through the trouble to pick up a new web browser?” And yet, I unquestioningly download Firefox first thing when I install a new OS, hmm.

You’ve made me think :]

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If Bash is your default shell, you can install Fish to try its superb auto suggestions and the tab key, while leaving Bash as your default shell. These auto suggestions do not only work for your command line history but also for file names even when your first letters you type are in different order in the file name (For example, I know that I want to edit a file with the word work in it and start typing the word work and press tab key, but it turns out that the word does start instead with the word personal, Fish is still able to suggest the real file name to edit : personal_and_work_todo.txt). Fish has saved me a lot of typing time. And if you need Bash for a moment (Fish will complain about certain * usage), then temporarily exiting Fish or typing bash is an option.

After installing Fish, run the fish_config command to configure it via a local session in your web browser.

Yuu Yin

I use nushell for my terminal/console (alacritty). For POSIX compability, mksh; I set it as SHELL so programs, which expect/assume POSIX, use it instead of nu. This is the way to have best of both worlds.


I’ve been eyeing nushell but it’s such a departure from posix that it just never sticks. How did you make the switch?

Yuu Yin

It is because it departs from POSIX that it is good; I recognize the syntax for some functionality is cumbersome and hard to remember though. There are similarities like command names and piping still…

I use NixOS and home-manager, so for switching I just

  home-manager.users.yuu = {
    programs.nushell = {
      package = pkgs-update.nushell;
      enable = true;
      configFile.source = ../../config/nushell/;
      envFile.source = ../../config/nushell/;  

The and is basically the default just with a customized prompt.

Then in my alacritty.ylm I set shell to the nu binary

  program: /etc/profiles/per-user/yuu/bin/nu

Also learned from official resources When I have doubts, I ask either on Nushell’s GitHub discussions or

And to keep a POSIX shell

  environment = {
    systemPackages = with pkgs; [

    sessionVariables = rec {
      TERM = "alacritty";
      TERMINAL = "alacritty";
      SHELL = "${pkgs.mksh}/bin/mksh";

  environment.shells = [

I’m a simple person, I see Nix I upvote.

Thanks for the comment, I may copy some stuff. :p

Yuu Yin

You’re a person of culture as well I see; I upvote comments of culture yes📠

I remember talking with you at the NixOS matrix; nice to see you here as well💖✨✨✨🌠

It’s true! Sometimes the internet seams really smoll.

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