Best Bash Alternative: How Xonsh Can Replace Bash Combining The Power Of Python With Bash

Mark Caggiano
6 min readApr 30


Xonsh is a Python-powered shell that combines the power of Python with the convenience of a traditional shell. Xonsh provides a shell syntax for invoking commands, but it also allows you to use Python syntax to access variables, functions, and modules. Xonsh has many features that make it more powerful and flexible than Bash, including tab completion, history search, and the ability to easily manipulate and process data with Python.

Why Xonsh is better than Bash:

  1. Python Integration: Xonsh integrates Python seamlessly into the shell environment, which means you can use Python syntax to access variables, functions, and modules from the shell. This makes it easier to manipulate and process data using Python libraries and functions.
  2. Tab Completion: Xonsh provides advanced tab completion that is more powerful than Bash’s completion. Xonsh can complete command names, file names, Python variables and functions, and even module names.
  3. History Search: Xonsh allows you to search your command history using the Up and Down arrow keys. You can also use a fuzzy search to find commands based on keywords.
  4. Cross-platform: Xonsh works on Windows, Linux, and macOS, and it has built-in support for common operating system commands and utilities.
  5. Customizability: Xonsh is highly customizable and allows you to create your own aliases, functions, and macros. You can also customize the prompt to display information about your current working directory and environment.

Installing Xonsh

  1. Installing and Configuring Xonsh:
  2. Install Xonsh GLOBALLY using pip:
pip install xonsh
  1. Once installed, you can start the Xonsh shell by typing xonsh in your terminal.
  2. To make Xonsh your default shell, you can add the following line to your .bashrc or .zshrc file:
chsh -s $(which xonsh)

You can customize Xonsh by creating a xonshrc file in your home directory. This file allows you to set environment variables, create aliases and…

Mark Caggiano

Internet Marketer, Web Developer, Traveler