Run Control File

Xonsh allows you to have run control files to customize your shell behavior. These are called xonshrc files.

The system-wide xonshrc file controls options that are applied to all users of Xonsh on a given system. You can create this file in /etc/xonshrc for Linux and OSX and in %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\xonsh\xonshrc on Windows.

Xonsh also allows you to have a run control file in your home directory. It can either be directly in the home directory at ~/.xonshrc or for XDG compliance at ~/.config/rc.xsh. The options set in the local xonshrc only apply to the current user and will override any conflicting settings set in the system-wide control file.

These files are written in the xonsh language, of course. They are executed exactly once at startup. The following is a real-world example of such a file.

Download xonshrc

# adjust some paths
$LD_LIBRARY_PATH = ['/home/scopatz/.local/lib', '/home/scopatz/miniconda3/lib', '']

# alias to quit AwesomeWM from the terminal
def _quit_awesome(args, stdin=None):
    lines = $(ps ux | grep "gnome-session --session=awesome").splitlines()
    pids = [l.split()[1] for l in lines]
    for pid in pids:
        kill @(pid)

aliases['qa'] = _quit_awesome

# some customization options, see for details
$MULTILINE_PROMPT = '`·.,¸,.·*¯`·.,¸,.·*¯'

Snippets for xonshrc

The following are usefull snippets and code that tweaks and adjust xonsh in various ways. If you have any useful tricks, feel free to share them.

Adjust how git branch label behaves

Xonsh adds a colored branch name to the prompt when working with git or hg repositories. This behavior can be controlled with the $PROMPT environment variable. See how to customize the prompt . The branch name changes color if the work dir is dirty or not. This is controlled by the {branch_color} formatter string.

The following snippet reimplements the formatter also to include untracked files when considering if a git directory is dirty.

>>> from xonsh.prompt.vc_branch import git_dirty_working_directory
>>> $PROMPT_FIELDS['branch_color'] = lambda: ('{BOLD_INTENSE_RED}'
                                               if git_dirty_working_directory(include_untracked=True)
                                               else '{BOLD_INTENSE_GREEN}')

Get better colors from the ls command

The colors of the ls command may be hard to read in a dark terminal. If so, this is an excellent addition to the xonshrc file.

>>> $LS_COLORS='rs=0:di=01;36:ln=01;36:mh=00:pi=40;33:so=01;35:do=01;35:bd=40;33;01:cd=40;33;01:or=40;31;01:su=37;41:sg=30;43:ca=30;41:tw=30;42:ow=34;42:st=37;44:ex=01;32:'

Make JSON data directly pastable

With the following snippet, xonsh will understand JSON data such as { "name": "Tyler", "active": false, "age": null }. Note that, though practical, this is rather hacky and might break other functionality. Use at your own risk.

>>> import builtins
>>> builtins.true = True
>>> builtins.false = False
>>> builtins.null = None

Display different date information every 10th time

For a compact shell prompts, some people prefer a very condensed time format. But when you have a lengthy shell session you might want the date to show up in your logs every now and then…

>>> import time
>>> def get_shelldate():
>>>     get_shelldate.fulldate %= 10
>>>     get_shelldate.fulldate += 1
>>>     if get_shelldate.fulldate == 1:
>>>         return time.strftime('%d%m%Y')
>>>     return time.strftime('%H:%M')
>>> get_shelldate.fulldate = 0
>>> $PROMPT_FIELDS['shelldate'] = get_shelldate

Use the Nix Package manager with Xonsh

To users of the Nix Package Manager these few lines might be life-savers:

>>> import os.path
>>> if os.path.exists(f"{$HOME}/.nix-profile") and not __xonsh__.env.get("NIX_PATH"):
>>>     $NIX_REMOTE="daemon"
>>>     $NIX_USER_PROFILE_DIR="/nix/var/nix/profiles/per-user/" + $USER
>>>     $NIX_PROFILES="/nix/var/nix/profiles/default " + $HOME + "/.nix-profile"
>>>     $NIX_SSL_CERT_FILE="/etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt"
>>>     $NIX_PATH="nixpkgs=/nix/var/nix/profiles/per-user/root/channels/nixpkgs:/nix/var/nix/profiles/per-user/root/channels"
>>>     $PATH += [f"{$HOME}/.nix-profile/bin", "/nix/var/nix/profiles/default/bin"]

Btw. a hacky solution to install xontribs that do not yet ship with nixpkgs is:

>>> for p in map(lambda s: str(s.resolve()), p"~/.local/lib/".glob("python*/site-packages")):
>>>     if p not in sys.path:
>>>         sys.path.append(p)
>>> $PYTHONPATH = "$USER/.local/lib/python3.7/site-packages"
>>> python -m ensurepip --user
>>> xonsh
>>> python -m pip install --user -U pip xontrib-z xonsh-direnv

Just run the last three lines, do not put them in your xonshrc!