fish-shell VS oil

Compare fish-shell vs oil and see what are their differences.


The user-friendly command line shell. (by fish-shell)


Oils is our upgrade path from bash to a better language and runtime. It's also for Python and JavaScript users who avoid shell! (by oilshell)
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fish-shell oil
321 238
24,925 2,760
1.5% 1.1%
9.9 9.9
6 days ago 5 days ago
Rust Python
GNU General Public License v3.0 or later GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of fish-shell. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-05-22.
  • How to Set Up Your Terminal for Maximum Productivity in Development
    7 projects | | 22 May 2024
    Fish shell
  • FAQ on the xz-utils backdoor – via a project dev
    1 project | | 29 Mar 2024
    Reminds of the note at the bottom of Fish's releases. It's there because the build system cannot determine the current version for some reason. Hopefully that will go away now that they have switched to a different language / build system. The custom tarball is used by Arch Linux at the very least.

  • Oh My Zsh
    19 projects | | 22 Jan 2024
  • Proposal for porting fish-shell from C++ to Rust
    1 project | | 17 Jan 2024
  • Converting the Kernel to C++
    3 projects | | 10 Jan 2024
    A recent practical example of the former: the fish shell re-wrote incrementally from C++ to Rust, and is almost finished

    An example of the latter: c2rust, which is a work in progress but is very impressive

    It currently translates into unsafe Rust, but the strategy is to separate the "compile C to unsafe Rust" steps and the "compile unsafe Rust to safe Rust" steps. As I see it, as it makes the overall task simpler, allows for more user freedom, and makes the latter potentially useful even for non-transpiled code.

  • Fish shell 3.7.0: last release branch before the full Rust rewrite
    9 projects | | 1 Jan 2024
    And this discussion from November has an update on the progress:
  • Day 5 - More or less...
    3 projects | /r/linuxupskillchallenge | 7 Dec 2023
    We're using bash as our terminal shell for now (it is standard in many distros) but it is not the only one out there. If you want to test out zsh, fish or oh-my-zsh, you will see that there are a few differences and the features are usually the main differentiator. Try that, poke around.
  • Fish – Update on the Rust Port
    1 project | /r/patient_hackernews | 28 Nov 2023
    1 project | /r/hackernews | 28 Nov 2023
    7 projects | | 26 Nov 2023
    They have a variety of reasons to move to rust, as outlined in their original rust discussion[1]. Mostly around finding other contributors, and adding an async/parallel mode they're comfortable with.



Posts with mentions or reviews of oil. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-05-09.
  • POSIX.1-2024 Is Published
    1 project | | 14 Jun 2024
    Is it an array of strings because it's a "simple command"? Or does it behave like an assignment? You get two different answers depending on how you look at it.

    The bottom line is that assignment builtins are special and they don't follow the normal rules of simple commands. Shells have differed, but POSIX decided on this awhile ago.


    This is all of course mind numbing trivia that has no real reason for existing ... YSH fixes it, and it's now pure native C++, no more Python.

    YSH Doesn't Require Quoting Everywhere - (Oil was renamed to YSH since this blog post was written)

    Simple Word Evaluation in Unix Shell -

    In YSH you can tell just by looking it's a single string or an array.

        ls $a  # identical to ls "$a"
  • New Programming Langauge Makes Bash Scripting Easier
    1 project | | 13 Jun 2024
    Oils is a different approach to this - the base “OSH” language is pretty much identical to bash, and then you can incrementally opt in to more checks and QOL improvements.

    The key selling point is that you never have to totally rewrite your existing bash scripts - there’s an incremental upgrade path.

  • Elvish, expressive programming language and a versatile interactive shell
    9 projects | | 9 May 2024
    While I don't agree with most of your analysis - in particular for the second example, I'd invite you to read its explainer that goes into much more depth ( - I think you might be more interested in the Oil Shell project, which is trying to chart a smooth upgrade path from bash:

    I think we simply can't say for sure which path is better for the future of shells, and I'm quite excited by the fact that different projects are exploring different directions. I will just stick to the path I find best and won't try to convert you :)

  • The life and times of an Abstract Syntax Tree
    1 project | | 2 May 2024
    Some related references (on a somewhat messy wiki page) -

    Feel free to add others

  • Autoconf makes me think we stopped evolving too soon
    8 projects | | 3 Apr 2024
    will prevent almost all of the "silent footguns".

    YSH has strict:all and then a bunch of NEW features.

    There's been good feedback recently, which has led to many concrete changes. So your experience can definitely influence the language!

  • Basic Things
    1 project | | 30 Mar 2024
    Regarding writing tools/tests/benchmarks in bash+Python, vs. writing tools in your main language:

    I think we might eventually concede that something Debian-like is the “standard development environment” (at least for server side stuff, i.e. not iOS apps)

    In this case, bash+Python is a non-issue. It works extremely reliably. That’s actually why I use it! Everything else seems to break, or it’s really slow (node.js is a very common alternative).

    - Microsoft conceded this back in ~2017, by building Linux into their kernel with WSL, and providing Ubuntu on top

    Yes bash + Python is a disaster on Windows (I have scars from it), but Microsoft agrees that the right place to solve that is in Windows :-)

    - Every CI system runs Debian/Ubuntu

    - Every hosting provider runs Debian/Ubuntu

    - Every online dev env like provides Debian/Ubuntu

    This is somewhat related to remote dev envs:

    One vision for is that the CI environment is the dev environment is the hosting environment.

    Everything is just an equal node in a distributed system. BUT it’s more git like, in that you explicitly sync and work “locally”, wherever that is. You don’t have the network chatter and flakiness of “the cloud”.

    Oils has a very large set of monotonically increasing properties too -

    All that is bash+Python that is run on every commit, and it’s extremely good at catching bugs and perf regressions.

    I’m skeptical that any project has that level of quality automation written in pure Rust or Zig. More likely it’s a bunch of cloud services with YAML.

    Also a bunch of “hard-coded” toolchains that you can’t script with bespoke code. Like some shell commands in your package.json, which is just a worse way of writing a shell script.

    Our quality process is all self-hosted, in the repo, and runs on both Github Actions and sourcehut -

    bash and Python runs perfectly on Github Actions and sourcehut, with zero change. Containers also do.

    (Although we need to unify the CI and release, because the release runs on 2 different real hardware machines, while CI is cloud only.)

    Also, a main point Oils is that bash now has another highly compatible, spec-driven implementation – OSH. Having 2 independent implementations is something newer languages don’t have.

    (copy of comment)

  • The secret weapon of Bash power users
    2 projects | | 24 Mar 2024
    in your bashrc to enable it. I've used it for probably ~18 years now.

    It also works with since we use GNU readline. Just 'set -o vi' in ~/.config/oils/oshrc

  • Pipexec – Handling pipe of commands like a single command
    6 projects | | 9 Mar 2024
    No other shell does that.

    But I didn't know it was called MULTIOS until now. (I guess that's read "mult I/O's"? I have a hard time not reading it was multi-OS :) )

    It seems a bit niche to be honest, but it's possible to support in Oils.


    Oils also uses Unix domain sockets already for the headless shell protocol

    We could do something like dgsh, but so far I haven't seen a lot of uptake / demand. Every time it's mentioned, somebody kinda wants it, and then it kinda peters out again ... still possible though.

    I think flat files work fine for a lot of use cases, and once you add streaming, you also want monitoring, more control over backpressure/queue sizes, etc.

  • Show HN: Hancho – A simple and pleasant build system in ~500 lines of Python
    4 projects | | 3 Mar 2024
    which works well. You don't have to clean when rebuilding variants. IMO this is 100% essential for writing C++ these days. You need a bunch of test binaries, and all tests should be run with ASAN and UBSAN.


    I wrote a mini-bazel on top of Ninja with these features:

    So it's ~1700 lines, but for that you get the build macros like asdl_library() generating C++ and Python (the same as proto_library(), a schema language that generates code)

    And it also correctly finds dependencies of code generators. So if you change a .py file that is imported by another .py file that is used to generated a C++ header, everything will work. That was one of the trickier bits, with Ninja implicit dependencies.

    I also use the Bazel-target syntax like //core/process

    This build file example mixes low level Ninja n.rule() and with high level r.cc_library() and so forth. I find this layering really does make it scale better for bigger projects

    Some more description -

  • Re2c
    4 projects | | 22 Feb 2024
    This is sort of a category error...

    re2c is a lexer generator, and YAML and Python are recursive/nested formats.

    You can definitely use re2c to lex them, but it's not the whole solution.

    I use it for everything possible in, and it's amazing. It really reduces the amount of fiddly C code you need to parse languages, and it drops in anywhere.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing fish-shell and oil you can also consider the following projects:

powerlevel10k - A Zsh theme

nushell - A new type of shell

starship - ☄🌌️ The minimal, blazing-fast, and infinitely customizable prompt for any shell!

elvish - Powerful scripting language & versatile interactive shell

xonsh - :shell: Python-powered, cross-platform, Unix-gazing shell.

oh-my-fish - The Fish Shell Framework

PowerShell - PowerShell for every system!

FaceFusion - Next generation face swapper and enhancer

tokyonight.nvim - 🏙 A clean, dark Neovim theme written in Lua, with support for lsp, treesitter and lots of plugins. Includes additional themes for Kitty, Alacritty, iTerm and Fish.

ShellCheck - ShellCheck, a static analysis tool for shell scripts

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