the xonsh shell — xonsh 0.7.8 documentation

Xonsh is a Python-powered, cross-platform, Unix-gazing shell language and command prompt. The language is a superset of Python 3.4+ with additional shell primitives that you are used to from Bash and IPython. It works on all major systems including Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows. Xonsh is meant for the daily use of experts and novices alike.

Try out xonsh right here in the browser. Just press the triangle play button in the bottom right of the frame below. Note: this is not a fully featured xonsh instance due to limitations.

Xonsh is significantly different from most other shells or shell tools. The following table lists features and capabilities that various tools may or may not share.

  Bash zsh plumbum fish IPython xonsh
Sane language    
Easily scriptable  
Native cross-platform support    
Meant as a shell    
Tab completion  
Man-page completion        
Large standard library      
Typed variables    
Syntax highlighting       in notebook w/ prompt-toolkit
Pun in name      
Rich history          

Xonsh currently has the following external dependencies,

Run Time:

  1. Python v3.4+
  2. PLY (optional, included with xonsh)

Pip supports “extra” dependencies in the form of xonsh[ptk,linux], where the list in the brackets identify the optional features

Xonsh currently has the following extras

  1. ptk: prompt-toolkit: advanced readline library, line-editing
  2. pygments>=2.2: syntax-highlighting
  3. proctitle: setproctitle: change the title of terminal to reflect the current subprocess
  4. linux: distro: linux specific platform information
  5. mac: gnureadline: GNU’s featureful version of readline
  6. win: win_unicode_console: enables the use of Unicode in windows consoles

In addition, xonsh integrates with Jupyter, an in-browser REPL, enabling the use of xonsh in jupyter notebooks

We highly encourage contributions to xonsh! If you would like to contribute, it is as easy as forking the repository on GitHub, making your changes, and issuing a pull request. If you have any questions about this process don’t hesitate to ask the mailing list ( or the Gitter channel.

See the Developer’s Guide for more information about contributing.