How to Install and Setup Zsh (Z Shell) in Fedora

Zsh (short for Z Shell) is a feature-rich and powerful shell program for Unix-like operating systems with lots of interactive features. It is an extended version of the Bourne Shell (sh), with a large number of new features, and support for plugins and themes. It is designed for interactive use and it is also a powerful scripting language.

One advantages of Zsh over most other Linux shell programs is that it is more sophisticated and configurable, yet super easy to customize. Some of its key features include auto-completion with the cd command, recursive path expansion and spelling correction and interactive selection of files and directories.

In this article, we will explain how to install and setup Zsh on a Fedora system.

Installing Zsh in Fedora System

Zsh can be found in the Fedora repositories and can be installed using the following dnf command.

$ sudo dnf install zsh

To start using it, simply run zsh and the new shell prompts you with an initial configuration function wizard for new users as shown in the screenshot below.

This wizard allows you to create zsh’s startup/initialization files. Press (1) to continue to the main menu.

$ zsh
Running Zsh in Fedora
Running Zsh in Fedora

Here is an image showing the main menu. Note that the status of all configurable options is Recommended. To pick an option for configuration, enter the key for the option.

Zsh Configuration Options
Zsh Configuration Options

For example enter (1) to select configure settings for history. From the next screen, enter (0) to remember edit and return to the main menu (where the status of this option should change to Unsaved changes).

Select Zsh Configuration Options
Select Zsh Configuration Options

Repeat the previous two steps for the other options. Now the first three options should indicate a status of Unsaved changes. Configuration option (4) allows you to pick some common shell option.

Zsh Shell Option
Zsh Shell Option

To save the new settings, enter (0). You will see the message shown in the following screen shot and your command prompt should change from $(for Bash) to %(for Zsh).

Zsh Command Prompt
Zsh Command Prompt

Now that you have setup Zsh on your Fedora system, you can go on and test some of its key features, as we mentioned at the beginning of this article. These include auto-completion, spelling correction, and much more.

Making Zsh as Default Shell in Fedora

To make Zsh your default shell, so its executed whenever you start a session or open a terminal, issue the chsh command, which is used to change a user’s login shell as follows (you’ll be prompted to enter your account password).

$ grep tecmint /etc/passwd
$ chsh -s $(which zsh)
$ grep tecmint /etc/passwd
Set Zsh Default Shell in Fedora
Set Zsh Default Shell in Fedora

The above command informs your system that you want to set (-s) your default shell (which zsh).

For more usage instructions, see the zsh man page.

$ man zsh

Zsh an extended version of the Bourne Shell (sh), with a large number of new features, and support for plugins and themes. If you have any comments or questions, reach us via the feedback form below.

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2 thoughts on “How to Install and Setup Zsh (Z Shell) in Fedora”

  1. That $(which zsh) part was actually very clever.

    Dunno why I never thought of that before.

    I’m equally mind blown as the day I found out you can use $nproc in make. :D


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