by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.
The PocketC.H.I.P. keyboard can be a bit of bear when trying to enter long commands in the Terminal. C.H.I.P. comes with
bash as the default Terminal shell (as do most Debian Linux distributions). However, we are not confined to this shell. You can install others and the one I find particularly suited to the PocketC.H.I.P. is a shell called fish. That’s right,
fish and C.H.I.P.s! What could be more tasty? This combination will shorten lengthy commands and make that PocketC.H.I.P. keyboard more enjoyable to use.
Below are the reasons I find
fish the perfect match for the PocketC.H.I.P.; or any C.H.I.P. for that matter:
fishshell autosuggests commands
There is much more to explore and users whose Linux-foo is stronger than mine will appreciate the additional features. Browse the fish tutorial page to learn more.
fish begins with a quick series of
apt commands as shown below:
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade sudo apt install fish
fish shell is now ready to use.
To use the
fish shell, fire up the Terminal. At the command prompt type:
The terminal will respond with the following prompt:
Welcome to fish, the friendly interactive shell Type help for instructions on how to use fish chip@pocketchip ~>
fish and issue Terminal commands. Give it a shot and type the
ls command. As shown in the image below and on your own PocketC.H.I.P., the list is now color coded and syntax highlighting is in effect. The effect is really great on the PocketC.H.I.P. screen.
sudo command next. The
fish shell will “autosuggest” the remainder of the string. If the
fish shell autocompletes the command you need, hit the ⇥ (tab) key and it will complete the string. A real thumb-saver on the PocketC.H.I.P. keyboard.
fishthe default shell
If you want to make
fish the default Terminal shell, use the command below:
chsh -s `which fish`
You will receive a prompt to enter your password. Use the default
chip password (unless of course you have changed it).
Reboot the PocketC.H.I.P. and launch the Terminal. You will see the
Welcome to fish prompt appear as shown in the image below.
This indicates that
fish is now the default terminal shell.
I’ve used the
fish and C.H.I.P.s configuration for about a week and really like it. I’ve installed
fish on both my regular C.H.I.P. and Mac with additional plans to add to a couple of Raspberry Pis. The features
fish provides are great for all keyboards; however, if I had not been looking for a way to reduce typing on my PocketC.H.I.P., I would never have been exposed to this wonderful
bash shell replacement. Chock up another good learning experience to the PocketC.H.I.P.
Anyone else using
fish? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below so we can share ways to get the most out of this shell and our PocketC.H.I.P.s.