Changing shells

By default, most Unix distros come with a pre-installed shell, the Bourne Shell, or bash for short.
Bash might be a nice shell to start out with when using a Unix system.
Please note that there are alternatives to bash.
Zsh, csh or fish, just to name a few.
Whatever your reasons may be to change shells; customisation, experience or just a experimenting.
I hope to inform you, quick and dirty, how to change your shell from bash, to any other shell.
First off, make sure you install your preferred shell.
I want to be using zsh as my new shell.
I’m using an Arch Linux system, so in my case this would be:
sudo pacman -S zsh
After a quick installation, check if the shell is properly installed by issuing the following command:
chsh -l
Note: if you don’t get any output, i.e. on Ubuntu, try running cat /etc/shells
Once you’ve verified that the shell has been installed, you can swap to your new shell with the following command:
chsh -s /full/path/to/shell
In my case, for zsh, this would be:
chsh -s /bin/zsh
After this command you should see that the new shell is now in effect.
I would also advise installing a completion tool and a auto-configuration tool.
For zsh, this would be zsh-completion and oh-my-zsh, respectively.
I hope I’ve informed you enough with this guide, but if there is anything unclear, be sure to drop a line in the comments or send me an email on rik[at]vexation[dot]eu!

Leave a Reply