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DJOtaku 02-05-2008 05:17 PM

pitfalls in switching shells?
AKA Gatchas that you wished you knew before switching shells.

Lately I've been hearing a lot of great stuff about zsh and fish (the latter just got mentioned on LugRadio), but like most I've only used bash on my Linux computers and tcsh on my FreeBSD boxen. I searched in here for fish and zsh. The fish search mostly brought up topics about food and this poll. ( )

zsh mostly seemed to bring up

which was useful and answered one of the questions I was going to verify. (Will the old bash scripts work - yes, as I suspected, since usually one writes #!/bin/bash at the top).

However are there any pitfalls/gotchas involved in changing shells? Anything I need to be careful of in the process of doing it or afterwards?


jlinkels 02-05-2008 07:42 PM

There *are* differences between shells... expect anything to happen.

However you are *not* installing different shells. You simply run shells. At every moment you can type "zsh" and then you have a zch instead of bash.

On Debian systems (maybe others as well) there is link in /bin/sh which points to /bin/bash. If you set that link to /bin/zsh, all scripts with the shebang /bin/sh will be executed with /bin/sh. Everything with the shebang /bin/bash will be executed with bash.

In /etc/passwd the shell to open is also specified as /bin/sh. Meaning that if you change the symlink, you'll be using zsh from now on.

It is all a matter of mentioning what you want, there is not installation and reverting to bash is nothing more than renaming a symlink.


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