Images of shells by the sea

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

In Operation

Here’s an image showing the output from ls.

Screenshot of Nushell showing output from ls

As you can see, the information is presented in a structured table. One of the strengths of Nu is its pipelines. This lets you use structured data to select, filter, and sort the same way. The shell lets you work with data more interactively.

Piped data with Nushell

Nu also extends the idea of the pipeline to include more than just text. Nu models data using a set of simple, and structured data types. Simple data types include integers, floats, strings, booleans, dates. There are also special types for filesizes and time durations.

Nu includes many commands. At the time of writing, there are 466 commands available. Here’s 56 of them as shown by help commands.

Commands available in Nushell
Click image for full size

The 466 commands are grouped into categories.

Commands grouped

Help for each command is also readily available.

Help for each of Nushell's commands is readily available

Features include:

  • Environment variables are scoped and can have any type supported by Nushell.
  • Nushell tables are core to the shell.
  • Blocks – represent a block of code in Nu. Blocks are a useful way to represent code that can be executed on each row of data.
  • Powerful plugins
  • Easy to read error messages.
  • Clean IDE support.

Here’s a memory comparison between Nushell and a bunch of other good open source shells. We’re showing memory usage at startup as reported by the ps_mem utility. The chart doesn’t include DASH which is another useful shell. Its memory usage is so frugal we’ll report its memory usage outside of the chart. DASH has a memory footprint of 0.4MB at startup.

Memory consumption as reported by ps_mem

Next page: Page 3 – Summary

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

Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
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
ezaA 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
Mark TextSimple and elegant Markdown editor
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
notiMonitors a command or process and triggers a notification
NushellFlexible cross-platform shell with a modern feel
nvitopGPU process management for NVIDIA graphics cards
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
Oh My ZshFramework to manage your Zsh configuration
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
pastelGenerate, analyze, convert and manipulate colors
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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1 year ago

Nushell looks promising but I prefer Zsh to be honest.