Most prominent of these improvements was its capacity as a scripting language. Users of bash could write their own programs for automating tasks. For the most part, bash vs zsh share many convenient features that qualify both as highly efficient shells. One highly useful feature that both share is the z command, which allows developers to essentially keep track of their directories. Using this tool, you can simply type z newProject. Another practical aspect of both shells is their tab auto-complete functions.
Within each shell, you can just type the command, followed by - , then hit tab. This action will then immediately display all of the available options for that command. Both shells offer flexibility and customization to their command-line auto-completion. Additionally, a helpful utility for developers in both shells, for the most part, is the auto-correction.
In the Z shell, if you make an innocent typo while writing a file location, for example, spell correction is built-in and will automatically detect the typo. While this is not custom to bash, you can easily make the necessary adjustments to allow auto-correction by using shopt commands cdspell and dirspell.
Even in terms of visual appeal and organization, both shells accomplish the task fairly well.
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Additionally, the font-weight will be slightly bolder. The exact colors used will depend on your terminal color settings. While these are only some of the various tools offered by both shells, they provide a glimpse of how bash and zsh admittedly resemble each other. However, they both possess some distinctions that can create a preference for one over the other among developers.
Seeking web design services? Talk to us about getting your online business off the ground. The commands and overall interaction for bash vs zsh are essentially identical. Knowledge and familiarity with one shell can easily be translated into the other without tackling a steep learning curve. However, both shells do have their share of unique features that may prompt developers to declare a clear preference. For one, zsh has the leverage of a powerful online community called Oh My Zsh. Oh My ZSH is one of the oldest and most popular options for managing zsh configurations.
Offering over plugins and different themes supplied by the community, Oh My ZSH is a great place to start in customizing the z shell that even comes with an auto-update function that keeps your shell updated. This allows users to work in a shell with a more personalized interface, amp up their workspace with a diverse array of tools, and have access to a convenient out-of-the-box support system.
For instance, a highly favorable option for the interface is a right-handed side prompt or a side prompt that auto-hides when typing in long file paths or commands. On the other hand, Bash has an impressive set of programming functions such as looping and conditional constructs, tilde and brace expansions, and the use of aliases.
It also has its share of quirks such as powerful invocation tools, being set into a restricted shell mode, having a particular POSIX mode, and more. Because Bash is also an older and established shell, there are boundless online resources for this software as well.
If you are on OS X, chances are you already have zsh installed on your system. To check, run the following command:. There is an off-chance that it may display another file path, if for some reason you moved the default installation directory. If you receive an output that states zsh not found , you will need to install it via Homebrew. You can do so by running the following command:. Similarly, sudo apt-get install zsh will install the shell on Debian and Ubuntu distributions. You can start using zsh even if bash is set to as your default shell. To temporarily try it out, you can just run zsh on the command line.
This will temporarily switch the shell for your current session. Terminal is the default on Mac OS X. While it works perfectly fine, options such as iTerm 2 or Hyper offer an enormous amount of customization. I personally use iTerm 2, although Hyper is an excellent choice available cross-platform.
Now that you have zsh installed, all you have to do to set it as your default shell is run the following command:. To start using zsh , just close your terminal window and open a new one — you will now be running zsh instead of bash. Running bash will also temporarily switch the shell for that session.
- MacOS Catalina will use zsh for the default shell!
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Similarly, you can add a. Given the wide spectrum of customization available in zsh, it can be beneficial to use a dedicate configuration manager.
macOS Catalina and later (10.15+)
This will download the executable shell script and install it on your system. Additionally, it will install a number of useful plugins.
Similar to the above, Oh My ZSH also adds a plugin that will display the current branch you are on in a git project. This way you never have to git branch to know the current branch. The git plugin also adds in several other useful features.
In the example below, the project directory is currently on the tests branch. In this case, this is indicated by the fact that the display is green. As soon as you make a change, the display turns another color, indicating that there are new changes to commit:. As mentioned above, zsh comes with hundreds of different themes to choose from. Once you find one you like, open up your.
Put the name of the name you want to use inside of quotes , then save the file. Opening a new terminal session should now display the new theme. This will load a new random theme each time you open up a new session in the shell. Some themes may require additional packages or fonts, such as the popular Powerline fonts.
For an introduction to some of the most essential shell commands, check out our post on basic command line usage. This is not true. Bash is the default interactive shell on most Linux distributions and macOS, yes. Commerical Unix systems, e.
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Also, Linux is not Unix-based based on original Unix code , but Unix-like designed after the Unix way of doing things. I use it all the time in Bash. Thank you.
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I would like the author to update the post according to your comment. Thank you for your constructive feedback on this post. The post has been updated to reflect your comment. This article is more a comparison of the default configuration in bash and zsh rather than the features of the shells themselves.
That click and open thing is a function of your terminal emulator, not zsh. Also option completion as well as the z command are plugins for zsh, which are in similar form available for bash too.
Thank you for pointing out this error, Trix Farrar. Well, that an ksh. Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:. Works like a charm. If you want that, i.