How To Change From Zsh To Bash

How To Articles

Changing from Zsh to Bash can be a great choice for those who prefer a different shell environment. As someone who has made the switch myself, I can share my personal experiences and provide a detailed guide on how to make the transition smoothly.

Introduction to Bash

Bash (Bourne Again Shell) is a popular command-line interpreter that is widely used in Unix-like operating systems. It is known for its simplicity and compatibility with various Unix commands and scripts. While Zsh is feature-rich and highly customizable, Bash offers a more straightforward and traditional shell experience.

Reasons to Switch

There can be several reasons why you might consider switching from Zsh to Bash. Maybe you are working on a system with limited resources, or perhaps you are more comfortable with Bash’s syntax and behavior. In my case, I found that Bash better suited my needs when working on shell scripts and automation tasks.

Getting Started

The first step in switching from Zsh to Bash is to ensure that Bash is installed on your system. Most Unix-like systems come with Bash pre-installed, but if it’s not available, you can easily install it using your package manager.

To check if Bash is installed, you can open a terminal and run the following command:

bash --version

If you see the Bash version output, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, install Bash using the appropriate package manager command for your operating system.

Changing the Default Shell

Once you have Bash installed, the next step is to change your default shell. This will ensure that every time you open a terminal, Bash is launched instead of Zsh.

To change the default shell, you will need to modify the user’s configuration file, usually located at ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile. Open the file in a text editor and add the following line:

exec bash

Save the file and exit. Now, whenever you open a new terminal window or restart your system, you will be greeted with the Bash shell.

Migrating Configuration

One important aspect of switching shells is migrating your configuration settings. Zsh and Bash have different configuration files, so you’ll need to transfer your customizations to the appropriate Bash configuration file.

The Bash configuration file is usually located at ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile. Open the file and copy any aliases, exports, or other customizations you had in Zsh’s configuration file.

It’s important to note that while some Zsh-specific configurations may not work in Bash, most common customizations should function properly. Take this opportunity to review your configuration and make any necessary adjustments to fit Bash’s syntax and behavior.


Changing from Zsh to Bash can be a smooth transition with the right steps and considerations. By installing Bash, changing the default shell, and migrating your configuration, you can seamlessly switch to Bash and enjoy its simplicity and compatibility.

Remember, the choice between Zsh and Bash ultimately depends on your personal preferences and requirements. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the shell that works best for you.