Getting Started

Last updated Dec 26, 2023

To start Hilbish, open a terminal. If Hilbish has been installed and is not the default shell, you can simply run hilbish to start it. This will launch a normal interactive session. To exit, you can either run the exit command or hit Ctrl+D.

Setting as Default

Login shell

There are a few ways to make Hilbish your default shell. A simple way is to make it your user/login shell.

To do that, simply run chsh -s /usr/bin/hilbish. Some distros (namely Fedora) might have lchsh instead, which is used like lchsh <user>. When prompted, you can put the path for Hilbish.

Default with terminal

The simpler way is to set the default shell for your terminal. The way of doing this depends on how your terminal settings are configured.

Run after login shell

Some shells (like zsh) have an rc file, like .zlogin, which is ran when the shell session is a login shell. In that file, you can run Hilbish. Example:

1exec hilbish -S -l

This will replace the shell with Hilbish, set $SHELL to Hilbish and launch it as a login shell.


Once installation and setup has been done, you can then configure Hilbish. It is configured and scripted via Lua, so the config file is a Lua file. You can use any pure Lua library to do whatever you want.

Hilbish’s sample configuration is usually located in hilbish.dataDir .. '/.hilbishrc.lua'. You can print that path via Lua to see what it is: print(hilbish.dataDir .. '/.hilbishrc.lua'). As an example, it will usually will result in /usr/share/hilbish/.hilbishrc.lua on Linux.

To edit your user configuration, you can copy that file to hilbish.userDir.config .. '/hilbish/init.lua', which follows XDG on Linux and MacOS, and is located in %APPDATA% on Windows.

As the directory is usually ~/.config on Linux, you can run this command to copy it:
cp /usr/share/hilbish/.hilbishrc.lua ~/.config/hilbish/init.lua

Now you can get to editing it. Since it’s just a Lua file, having basic knowledge of Lua would help. All of Lua’s standard libraries and functions from Lua 5.4 are available. Hilbish has some custom and modules that are available. To see them, you can run the doc command. This also works as general documentation for other things.