How To Configure Your Fish Shell

A guide on how to configure and personalize your command line fish shell.

🌱 Created: 09/11/2021

✏️ Updated: 31/07/2022

Author: Dante Mogrim

📋 Necessities

About is a file where we're able to configure certain aspects of our fish shell. This easily gets mixed up with the command fish_config. fish_config is a command that has the ability to set certain settings, while the file can handle other settings that the other one can't.

The fish_config command will open up your browser and let you choose certain fish settings from a menu such as general colors, prompt etc.

The file however lets you configure a big number of other things. I'll only be going through some basics but here you can configure aliases, specify colors or characters when working with Git and much more.

Getting Started

  1. Locate your .config location of your Fish installation.

So not the location of where it's installed (which is usually usr/local/bin btw) but from where we can configure our Fish shell.

I recommend (from the Finder menu) to hit Cmd + Shift + G and in the "Go to Folder" menu search for: ~/.config/ Here among other folders we should find our friend "fish"! 🐟 Drag and drop the fish folder into VSCode and let's get cooking.

  1. In the root of this folder create a new file and name it (skip if you already have an existing one).

  2. Now to actually start configuring our shell - the fun part!

I'll explain the things I've chosen to have in my own personal fish.config file - and if anything is to your liking simply copy paste it into yours.

- Aliases

You can set these to shorten day to day commands. Or if you have a longer snippet and just want it to be shortened to a single word. Example: In my file below where I've written alias desk="cd Desktop" means that if I run desk in my terminal, Fish will recognize this is my alias and run whatever I've put in after the = sign, so in this case cd Desktop.

- Git Information

Half of my settings revolve around Git. You can set special color rules, specific characters etc. Luckily fish-shell has documented this part of my configuration very well in this link. Take a look there and come back and you will better understand which line does what.

- Zoxide

Mentioned in the last line of my It's a CLI application that has nothing to do with fish shell really. But it can be worth mentioning that sometimes when we download certain command line tools, it might require us to add them into our shell configuration somehow for everything to work properly. Always double check the documentation when downloading these types of apps.

# Fewer key strokes for day to day things.
alias ...="cd ../.."
alias art="php artisan"
alias Brewfile="code ./Brewfile"
alias build="npm run build"
alias"code .config/fish/"
alias desk="cd Desktop"
alias dev="npm run dev"
alias phpunit="vendor/bin/phpunit"
alias servor="npx servor . index.html 4000 --reload --browse"
alias update="brew upgrade; brew cleanup; composer global update; npm i -g npm-check-updates"
alias week="date +%V"

# Fish Git Prompt
set -g __fish_git_prompt_showdirtystate 'yes'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_showstashstate 'yes'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_showuntrackedfiles 'yes'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_showupstream 'yes'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_show_informative_status 1
set -g __fish_git_prompt_hide_untrackedfiles 1

# Colors
set -g __fish_git_prompt_color_branch green
set -g __fish_git_prompt_color_cleanstate green
set -g __fish_git_prompt_color_dirtystate blue
set -g __fish_git_prompt_color_invalidstate red
set -g __fish_git_prompt_color_stagedstate yellow
set -g __fish_git_prompt_color_untrackedfiles $fish_color_normal
set -g __fish_git_prompt_color_upstream_ahead green
set -g __fish_git_prompt_color_upstream_behind red

# Characters
set -g __fish_git_prompt_char_dirtystate '⚡'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_char_stagedstate '→'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_char_untrackedfiles '☡'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_char_stashstate '↩'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_char_upstream_ahead '+'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_char_upstream_behind '-'
set -g __fish_git_prompt_char_dirtystate "+"

zoxide init fish | source


If you're curious and want to learn more on what possibilities are out there - documentation can be a bit tricky to find. My best advice so far is to go to GitHub Explore and search for "fish.config" or "dotfiles" to see what other kind of configurations other developers have made to their shells.

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