The project is in a healthy, maintained state
A shell written in Ruby with extensive tab completions, aliases/nicks, history, syntax highlighting, theming and more. In continual development. New in 0.13: Automatic git status when entering a git repo/dir.
 Project Readme


Ruby Gem Version Unlicense Stay Amazing

The Ruby SHell


Ruby is my goto language (pun kinda intended). I want full control over my tools and I like challenges that I can tinker with late at night. This is an incomplete project continually being improved. Feel free to add suggestions or code.

Design principles

Simple. One file. Minimum external requirements.


Clone this repo and drop rsh into your preferred bin directory. Drop .rshrc into your home directory and edit as you see fit.

Or simply gem install ruby-shell.


  • Aliases (called nicks in rsh) - both for commands and general nicks
  • Syntax highlighting, matching nicks, system commands and valid dirs/files
  • Tab completions for nicks, system commands, command switches and dirs/files
  • Tab completion presents matches in a list to pick from
  • When you start to write a command, rsh will suggest the first match in the history and present that in "toned down" letters - press the arrow right key to accept the suggestion.
  • History with editing, search
  • Config file (.rshrc) updates on exit (with Ctrl-d) or not (with Ctrl-c)
  • Set of simple rsh specific commands like nick, nick?, history and rmhistory
  • rsh specific commands and full set of Ruby commands available via :
  • All colors are themeable in .rshrc (see github link for possibilities)

Special functions/integrations:

Special commands:

  • :nick 'll = ls -l' to make a command alias (ll) point to a command (ls -l)
  • :gnick 'h = /home/me' to make a general alias (h) point to something (/home/me)
  • :nick? will list all command nicks and general nicks (you can edit your nicks in .rshrc)
  • :history will list the command history, while :rmhistory will delete the history
  • :help will display this help text


Add command nicks (aliases) with :nick "some_nick = some_command", e.g. :nick "ls = ls --color". Add general nicks that will substitute anything on a command line (not just commands) like this :gnick "some_gnick = some_command", e.g. :gnick "x = /home/user/somewhere". List (g)nicks with :nick?. Remove a nick with :nick "-some_command", e.g. :nick "-ls" to remove an ls nick. Same for gnicks.

Tab completion

You can tab complete almost anything. Hitting TAB will try to complete in this priority: nicks, gnicks, commands, dirs/files. Hitting TABafter a - will list the command switches for the preceding command with a short explanation (from the command's --help), like this ls -(TAB) will list all the switches/options for the ls command. You can add to (or subtract from) the search criteria while selecting possible matches - hit any letter to specify the search, while backspace removes a letter from the search criteria.

Hitting Shift-TAB will do a similar search through the command history - but with a general match of the search criteria (not only matching at the start).


rsh is integrated with the rtfm file manager, with fzf and with the programming language XRPN.

Just enter the command r and rtfm will be launched - and when you quit the file manager, you will drop back into rsh in the directory you where you exited rtfm.

Enter the command fzf to launch the fuzzy finder - select the directory/file you want, press ENTER and you will find yourself in the directory where that item resides.

If you start a line with "=", the rest of the line will be interpreted as an XRPN program. This gives you the full power of XRPN right at your fingertips. You can do simple stuff like this: =13,23,*,x^2 and the answer to (13 * 23)^2 will be given (89401) in the format that you have set in your .xrpn/conf. Or you can do more elaborate stuff like =fix 6,5,sto c,time,'Time now is: ',atime,aview,pse,fix 0,lbl a,rcl c,prx,dse c,gto a. Go crazy. Use single-quotes for any Alpha entry.

Syntax highlighting

rsh will highlight nicks, gnicks, commands and dirs/files as they are written on the command line.


In the supplied .rshrc, you will find a set of colors that you can change:

Variable Description
@c_prompt Color for basic prompt
@c_cmd Color for valid command
@c_nick Color for matching nick
@c_gnick Color for matching gnick
@c_path Color for valid path
@c_tabselect Color for selected tabcompleted item
@c_taboption Color for unselected tabcompleted item
@c_stamp Color for time stamp/command

Open files

If you press ENTER after writing or tab-completing to a file, rsh will try to open the file in the user's EDITOR of choice (if it is a valid text file) or use xdg-open to open the file using the correct program. If you, for some reason want to use run-mailcap instead of xdg-open as the file opener, simply add @runmailcap = true to your .rshrc.

Enter the world of Ruby

By entering :some-ruby-command you have full access to the Ruby universe right from your command line. You can do anything from :puts 2 + 13 or :if 0.7 > Math::sin(34) then puts "OK" end or whatever tickles you fancy.

Not yet implemented

Lots. Of. Stuff.

License and copyright

Forget it.