the xonsh shell

~ ~

Xonsh is a Python-powered, cross-platform, Unix-gazing shell language and command prompt. The language is a superset of Python 3.5+ with additional shell primitives that you are used to from Bash and IPython. It works on all major systems including Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows. Xonsh is meant for the daily use of experts and novices alike.



  • python V3.6 or later.

  • for interactive use, an ansi (vt100-compatible) terminal application. On Windows 10, the separately-installable Windows Terminal app is recommended.


Xonsh can be installed via package manager, via appimage or just run from a pre-built container:

Configuration and Customization

Xonsh uses startup configuration files and provides configuration wizards to help you set them up.


Xonsh is significantly different from most other shells or shell tools. The following table lists features and capabilities that various tools may or may not share.







Sane language

Easily scriptable

Native cross-platform support

Meant as a shell

Tab completion

Completion from man-page parsing

Large standard library

Typed variables

Syntax highlighting

in notebook

w/ prompt-toolkit

Pun in name

Rich history

News & Media


We highly encourage contributions to xonsh! If you would like to contribute, it is as easy as forking the repository on GitHub, making your changes, and issuing a pull request. If you have any questions about this process don’t hesitate to ask the mailing list ( or the Gitter channel.

See the Developer’s Guide for more information about contributing.

Contact Us

If you have questions or comments, please send them to the mailing list, page us on IRC, contact the author directly, or open an issue on GitHub. Join the mailing list here!

Development Spiral