RIP Bash: macOS Catalina Will Set Z Shell as Terminal Default

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| Quick Tip

Starting with the macOS Catalina beta, your Mac will use zsh as the default shell in Terminal, replacing Bash.

Bash and Z Shell

Bash, otherwise known as the Bourne Again Shell, started in 1989 to replace the older Bourne shell. It’s been the default shell in macOS starting with OS X Jaguar released in 2002. However, people have always been able to change what shell they want, and Z shell is a popular alternative. Z shell extends Bash with a bunch of improvements.

Changing Your Default Shell From Users & Groups

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Users & Groups.
  2. Click the lock icon, then enter your account name and password.
  3. Control-click your user name in the list of users on the left, then choose Advanced Options.
  4. Choose a shell from the ”Login shell” menu, then click OK to save the changes.

Selecting z shell in system preferences

Changing Your Default Shell From Terminal

Open Terminal and enter the following command:

$ chsh -s path

Where path is one of shell paths listed in /etc/shells, such as /bin/zsh, /bin/bash, /bin/csh, /bin/dash, /bin/ksh, /bin/sh, or /bin/tcsh.

Further Reading:

[macOS: How to Update Your Mac in the Terminal]

[9 Alternatives for the Apple’s Mac Terminal App]

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Scott B in DC
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Scott B in DC

Are they removing bash or just adding zsh and leaving it as an option? Remember, when Jaguar was released tcsh was the default shell. I forgot when they moved to bash (Leopard?) but tcsh is still available.