Runner Mode

Last updated Dec 26, 2023
Customize the interactive script/command runner.

Hilbish allows you to change how interactive text can be interpreted. This is mainly due to the fact that the default method Hilbish uses is that it runs Lua first and then falls back to shell script.

In some cases, someone might want to switch to just shell script to avoid it while interactive but still have a Lua config, or go full Lua to use Hilbish as a REPL. This also allows users to add alternative languages like Fennel as the interactive script runner.

Runner mode can also be used to handle specific kinds of input before evaluating like normal, which is how Link.hsh handles links.

The “runner mode” of Hilbish is customizable via hilbish.runnerMode, which determines how Hilbish will run user input. By default, this is set to hybrid which is the previously mentioned behaviour of running Lua first then going to shell script. If you want the reverse order, you can set it to hybridRev and for isolated modes there is sh and lua respectively.

You can also set it to a function, which will be called everytime Hilbish needs to run interactive input. For more detail, see the API documentation

The hilbish.runner interface is an alternative to using hilbish.runnerMode and also provides the shell script and Lua runner functions that Hilbish itself uses.

A runner function is expected to return a table with the following values:

  • exitCode (number): Exit code of the command
  • input (string): The text input of the user. This is used by Hilbish to append extra input, in case more is requested.
  • err (string): A string that represents an error from the runner. This should only be set when, for example, there is a syntax error. It can be set to a few special values for Hilbish to throw the right hooks and have a better looking message.
    • <command>: not-found will throw a command.not-found hook based on what <command> is.
    • <command>: not-executable will throw a command.not-executable hook.
  • continue (boolean): Whether Hilbish should prompt the user for no input


These are the “low level” functions for the hilbish.runner interface.

  • setMode(mode) > The same as hilbish.runnerMode
  • sh(input) -> table > Runs input in Hilbish’s sh interpreter
  • lua(input) -> table > Evals input as Lua code

These functions should be preferred over the previous ones.

  • setCurrent(mode) > The same as setMode, but works with runners managed via the functions below.
  • add(name, runner) > Adds a runner to a table of available runners. The runner argument is either a function or a table with a run callback.
  • set(name, runner) > The same as add but requires passing a table and overwrites if the named runner already exists.
  • get(name) > runner > Gets a runner by name. It is a table with at least a run function, to run input.
  • exec(cmd, runnerName) > Runs cmd with a runner. If runnerName isn’t passed, the current runner mode is used.