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Excellent Utilities: Nushell – flexible cross-platform shell with a modern feel

This series highlights best-of-breed utilities. We cover a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides.

The shell is a program that takes commands from the keyboard and gives them to the operating system to perform. This environment lets users run commands, programs, and shell scripts. The shell is both an interactive command language and a scripting language, and is used by the operating system to control the execution of the system using shell scripts.

The first Unix shell was the Thompson shell, sh, written by Ken Thompson at Bell Labs back in the early 1970s. Nowadays, on many Linux systems, bash (which stands for Bourne Again SHell) acts as the shell program. But there are lots of other free and open source shells available for Linux.

Nushell is billed as a new type of shell. The aim of the project is to adopt the Unix philosophy of shells where pipes connect commands together. It’s written in the Rust programming language and published under the MIT license.

Installation

There are various ways to install Nushell. The project provides pre-built binaries for Linux (including ARM), macOS and Windows. Instead, we installed the software under Manjaro using the package from their official repositories (community).

As the full source code is available, we can also build from source.

We can use the brew command in Linux and macOS.

After installing the software, there are a few steps next to take.

To change your default shell to Nushell, use the chsh command. chsh -l lists the shells installed on your system. Re-run the command chsh and choose /bin/nushell as your default shell.

When you first start Nushell you’re presented with an introductory banner with instructions on how to remove that banner. It’s a simple modification to the config.nu file.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary


Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
AbricotineMarkdown editor with inline preview functionality
AES CryptEncrypt files using the Advanced Encryption Standard
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
brootNext gen tree explorer and customizable launcher
CerebroFast application launcher
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
CopyQAdvanced clipboard manager
crocSecurely transfer files and folders from the command-line
DeskreenLive streaming your desktop to a web browser
dufDisk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df
exaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
Extension ManagerBrowse, install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
fkillKill processes quick and easy
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
horcruxFile splitter with encryption and redundancy
KoohaSimple screen recorder
KOReaderDocument viewer for a wide variety of file formats
ImagineA simple yet effective image optimization tool
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
lsdLike exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
NushellFlexible cross-platform shell with a modern feel
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
Oh My ZshFramework to manage your Zsh configuration
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
PDF Mix ToolPerform common editing operations on PDF files
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
RnoteSketch and take handwritten notes
scrcpyDisplay and control Android devices
StickySimulates the traditional “sticky note” style stationery on your desktop
tldrSimplified and community-driven man pages
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
Whoogle SearchSelf-hosted and privacy-focused metasearch engine
ZellijTerminal workspace with batteries included

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