Are there any advantages to using zsh vs bash shell in Terminal app? Also, can you use zsh from the terminal? My understanding of zsh is skewed.


2 Answers 2


Are there any advantages to using zsh vs bash?

Both have their own unique set of features. It's upto you to choose a shell. Bash is the default login shell set for users in macOS whereas zsh is also available.

can you use zsh from the terminal?

Yes. Simply type zsh in Terminal to start Zsh shell. You can also set zsh as your default shell by going to System Preferences app → Users & Groups right click on your account name and choose Advanced Options....

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Choice of shell is a subjective matter. However, if you are a command line newbie, it's recommended to stick with Bash shell.


The Z shell (Zsh) is a Unix shell that can be used as an interactive login shell and as a command interpreter for shell scripting. Zsh is an extended Bourne shell with a large number of improvements, including some features of Bash, ksh, and tcsh.

I may suggest you to install Zsh with framework for fancy managing your zsh environment and switch to iTerm2 for excellent terminal replacement.

Install zsh using Homebrew:

brew install zsh

Switch current user from bash to zsh shell:

chsh -s $(which zsh)

Next install one of popular shell framework like Oh My Zsh or Prezto.

I like Oh My Zsh, so:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh)"

Download iTerm2 and after unpack .zip file, run it.


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