News: Change from BASH to zsh

Change from BASH to zsh

Hello fellow Null-Byters today I will be showing you how to change from the simple but powerful BASH system to a more powerful and faster Z - Shell system. This change can be permanent if you want but doesn't have to be, and it is an extremely simple one to perform.

Reasons to change:

ZSH is similar to its counterpart BASH. So that means it has a lot of the same features of BASH but a lot better.

  1. Better TAB auto-completion
  2. Typo correction
  3. Faster
  4. "Smarter"
  5. More features
  6. Reverse compatible

And many more that I will not go into

How to get it:

If you want to test out Zshell before you fully devote yourself to it type in a console emulator

For Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distros

sudo apt-get install zsh

For Arch based distros

sudo pacman zsh


  • If you would like to test out the shell go to a console emulator and type in
  • zsh
  • It should give you a basic shell look and now you can play with it all you want
  • Skip the .zshrc wizard it can be confusing and I recomend getting one you find online like this one :

To make the change permanent:

First off we are going to change the login shell so open a console emulator and type in:


the type in


This will make zsh your login shell for linux now

Next type


enter your password then retype in what you did above this, this will make your default root shell zsh.


  • To ever go back to bash just do the following
  • type into a console emulator
  • chsh
  • Then
  • /bin/bash
  • This will change the default shell back to bash.

I hope this helps someone change from BASH to Z-Shell as it is way better.

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Could you tell me why YOU made the change? What was your reason to switch over?

I found that I was always making spelling mistakes in my code because sometimes my laptop screen would go blank and I would need to type a command in almost blind with the auto-correct it fixes it. Plus I noticed that bash was seaming to get slower and slower as the day went on but zsh has been keeping the same speed. Bottom line, I changed due to its speed on my hardware and because of the advanced features it has over bash.

Yeah, ZSH is amazing :D. Awesome guide, dude. Now, if only I could customize my .zshrc like I have my PS1= in .basrc... haha. It looks so good now that I'm having a hard time making myself use it again xD.

On a mac you can also change from Bash to ZSH through preferences at the top left of your screen while terminal is open.

That's awesome ^_^. Didn't know it was built it :D.

So are a number of other shells.

I guess mac users are a little lucky like that then, thats a first.

Nah, not lucky. Just more convenient. When Microsoft does includes more software than the users want, it's called bloatware. I'd say the same for Mac xD. It's cool, but not good for power-users! :D

It might not come with it standard, but if you download the developer package it is. The dev.pack comes with pretty much every mac along with your OS cd (or at least used to, I heard they stopped packing those by default). It includes the "mac IDE", IDLE, python frameworks, and other such stuff.

How long have you used a mac Matt?

I only use the ones at my school for small things, and when I have to fix things on them for my friends that use them.

Thank you for another helpful null-byte post, though this is an old article. I now love zsh. This 5 + year old article is still very relevant today. This is my new daily must read site. Also, please stop timing out and redirecting to

Again many thanks to all open source contributors.

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