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A user friendly command line shell for Ubuntu/Linux

April 19, 2024

The command line interface (CLI) has long been a staple of Linux-based operating systems like Ubuntu, offering users a powerful and efficient way to interact with their systems. While mastering the command line can unlock a world of possibilities, its steep learning curve and complex syntax can be intimidating for newcomers. However, thanks to innovative projects and community-driven initiatives, modern command line shells are evolving to offer a more user-friendly experience without sacrificing functionality. In this article, we’ll explore one such shell designed specifically for Ubuntu/Linux users, empowering them to streamline their workflow and maximize productivity with ease.

Fish Shell: An Intuitive and User-Friendly Command Line Experience

Fish Shell, short for the “Friendly Interactive Shell,” stands out as a shining example of a command line shell that prioritizes user-friendliness and simplicity without compromising on features or performance. Built upon the principles of discoverability, consistency, and extensibility, Fish Shell offers a modern and intuitive interface that caters to both novice and experienced users alike.

Key Features of Fish Shell:

  1. Interactive Auto-Completion: Fish Shell’s auto-completion feature is nothing short of revolutionary, offering intelligent suggestions based on context, command history, and installed packages. As users type commands or arguments, Fish Shell provides real-time suggestions, making it easy to discover and utilize commands, options, and file paths without the need for memorization.
  2. Syntax Highlighting: Syntax highlighting in Fish Shell enhances readability and comprehension by colorizing commands, parameters, and file paths as users type them. This visual feedback not only makes the command line interface more aesthetically pleasing but also helps users identify errors, typos, and inconsistencies more effectively, thereby reducing mistakes and improving overall productivity.
  3. Powerful Tab Completion: Fish Shell’s tab completion functionality goes beyond basic file and directory completion, offering advanced features like command options, variable expansion, and even function and argument completion. With tab completion, users can navigate the command line more efficiently, saving time and effort while minimizing typing errors.
  4. Universal Variables and Functions: Fish Shell introduces the concept of universal variables and functions, allowing users to define and access custom settings, aliases, and functions across sessions. This simplifies configuration management and customization, ensuring that users can tailor their command line environment to suit their specific preferences and workflows.
  5. Rich Set of Plugins and Themes: Fish Shell boasts a vibrant ecosystem of plugins and themes developed by the community, further enhancing its functionality and aesthetics. From syntax highlighting themes to productivity-enhancing plugins, Fish Shell offers a wealth of options for users to customize their experience and extend the shell’s capabilities to meet their unique needs.

Getting Started with Fish Shell on Ubuntu/Linux:

Installing Fish Shell on Ubuntu/Linux is a straightforward process, thanks to package managers like APT (Advanced Package Tool) and Snap. Once installed, users can set Fish Shell as their default shell and start enjoying its user-friendly features right away. Additionally, Fish Shell’s documentation and community forums provide valuable resources for learning and mastering the shell’s capabilities, making it accessible to users of all skill levels.


Fish Shell represents a significant evolution in the world of command line interfaces, offering Ubuntu/Linux users a user-friendly alternative that prioritizes discoverability, consistency, and extensibility. With its interactive auto-completion, syntax highlighting, powerful tab completion, and rich ecosystem of plugins and themes, Fish Shell empowers users to streamline their workflow, boost productivity, and unlock the full potential of the command line. Whether you’re a seasoned sysadmin, a developer, or a casual Linux enthusiast, Fish Shell makes the command line experience more enjoyable and accessible than ever before, paving the way for a more efficient and productive computing experience on Ubuntu/Linux.