Difference between revisions of "Fish"

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Some useful tab completion scripts that are not included into the official fish package:
Some useful tab completion scripts that are not included into the official fish package:
* [[anamnesis.fish]]
* [[bauerbill.fish]]
* [[bauerbill.fish]]
* [[duply.fish]]
* [[duply.fish]]

Revision as of 08:22, 14 December 2010

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fish is a user friendly commandline shell intended mostly for interactive use.

Installation instructions

To install the package for fish using pacman (the package is in the community repo) run:

# pacman -S fish

To verify that it has been installed you can run:

$ less /etc/shells

If you wanted to make fish your default shell run:

$ chsh -s /usr/bin/fish

Pacman and fish

Context-aware completions for pacman and makepkg are built into fish, since the policy of the fish development is to include all the existent completions in the upstream tarball. The memory management is clever enough to avoid any negative impact on resources.


In arch, there are a lot of shell scripts written for bash, and these have not been translated to fish. It is advisable not to set fish as your default shell because of this. The best option is to open your terminal emulator (gnome-terminal, konsole, sakura, etc...) with a command line option that executes fish. For most terminals this is the -e switch, so for example, to open gnome-terminal using fish, change your shortcut to use:

gnome-terminal -e fish

Another option is to set fish as the default shell for the terminal in the terminal's configuration or for a terminal profile if your terminal emulator has a profiles feature. This is contrast to changing the default shell for the user which would cause the above mentioned problem.

To set fish as the shell started in tmux, put this into your .tmux.conf:

set-option -g default-shell "/usr/bin/fish"

Not setting fish as system wide default allows the arch scripts to run on startup, ensure the environment variables are set correctly, and generally reduces the issues associated with using a non-bash compatible terminal like fish.

If you decide to set fish as your default shell, you may find that you no longer have very much in your path. You can add a section to your ~/.config/fish/config.fish file that will set your path correctly on login. This is much like .profile or .bash_profile as it is only executed for login shells.

if status --is-login
    set PATH $PATH /usr/bin /sbin

Note that you will need to manually add various other environment variables, such as $MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH. It is a huge amount of work to get a seamless experience with fish as your default shell.

Configuration Suggestions

If you would like fish to display the branch and dirty status when you are in a git directory, you can add the following to your ~/.config/fish/config.fish:

set fish_git_dirty_color red
function parse_git_dirty 
         git diff --quiet HEAD ^&-
         if test $status = 1
            echo (set_color $fish_git_dirty_color)"Δ"(set_color normal)
function parse_git_branch
         # git branch outputs lines, the current branch is prefixed with a *
         set -l branch (git branch --color ^&- | awk '/*/ {print $2}') 
         echo $branch (parse_git_dirty)     

function fish_prompt
         if test -z (git branch --quiet 2>| awk '/fatal:/ {print "no git"}')
            printf '%s@%s %s%s%s (%s) $ ' (whoami) (hostname|cut -d . -f 1) (set_color $fish_color_cwd) (prompt_pwd) (set_color normal) (parse_git_branch)            
            printf '%s@%s %s%s%s $ '  (whoami) (hostname|cut -d . -f 1) (set_color $fish_color_cwd) (prompt_pwd) (set_color normal)

If su starts with bash (because bash is the default shell), define a function in fish:

~> funced su
su> function su
       su --shell=/usr/bin/fish $argv
~> funcsave su

Some useful tab completion scripts that are not included into the official fish package:

Patches to existing tab completions:

Current state of fish development

The original developer, Axel Liljencrantz has seemingly abandoned the project, the official darcs repository hasn't been touched since March 2009. The rest of his team slowly took over and transferred the codebase to gitorius: http://gitorious.org/fish-shell

So far several bug fixes are available from the git repository. Also, there is an AUR package for the git master branch, which is considered stable for everyday use: fish-git.

Development has been started again on fish, don't expect big changes though in the near future.


Fish Copyright (C) 2005-2006 Axel Liljencrantz.

Fish is released under the GNU General Public License, version 2.

Fish contains code under the BSD license, namely versions of the two functions strlcat and strlcpy, modified for use with wide character strings. This code is copyrighted by Todd C. Miller.

The XSel command, written and copyrighted by Conrad Parker, is distributed together with, and used by fish. It is released under the MIT license.

The xdgmime library, written and copyrighted by Red Hat, Inc, is used by the mimedb command, which is a part of fish. It is released under the LGPL.

Fish contains code from the glibc library, namely the wcstok function. This code is licensed under the LGPL.

External Links