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How to change the default shell to Bash on macOS Catalina



  Terminal window on a macOS Catalina desktop.

With macOS Catalina, Apple now uses Zsh as a standard shell. We love Zsh, but the trusted old Bash shell is still included with macOS and you can switch back to Bash quickly if you prefer.

Zsh is only the standard shell on newly created user accounts, so existing accounts that you have an improved Mac will still use Bash by default unless you change it. Each user account has its own standard shell preference.

From the terminal

To change the default shell of a user account on macOS, simply execute the command chsh -s (change shell) in a terminal window.

Change the default shell to Bash by executing the following command:

  chsh -s / bin / bash 

You must enter the password for your user account. Finally close the Terminal window and open it again. You use Bash instead of Zsh.

 Change the default shell to Bash on macOS Catalina.

Change the default shell back to Zsh by executing this command:

  chsh -s / bin / zsh 

Enter your password when prompted. After you close and reopen the terminal window, use Zsh.

 Change the default shell to Zsh on macOS Catalina.

You can see a list of recorded shells that you can select by executing the following command:

  cat / etc / shells 

 List of available shells in the terminal of macOS Catalina .

From System Preferences

You can also graphically change this option from System Preferences if you prefer.

Go to System Preferences> Users and Groups on your Mac. Click on the lock icon and enter your password. Hold down the Ctrl key, click on the name of your user account in the left pane and select "Advanced Options".

 Open advanced options in Users and Groups on macOS.

Click the "Login Shell" drop-down list and select "/ bin / bash" to use Bash as your default shell or "/ bin / zsh" to use Zsh as your default shell. Click "OK" to save your changes.

 Graphically change the default login scale to macOS Catalina.

Bash on macOS is still outdated

Note that the version of Bash (Bourne Again SHell) included with macOS is still quite outdated. If you run bash - version you'll see that Catalina contains Bash 3.2.57 when Bash 5.0 is the newest version. Newer versions are licensed under the GPLv3 license, while Apple still distributes a version licensed under GPLv2.

By contrast, the version of Zsh (Z shell) is included with macOS (check with zsh - version ), Zsh is 5.7.2, the newest version at the time of the release of Catalina.

 View the versions of Bash and Zsh on macOS Catalina.

If you want the latest version of Bash, you can install it yourself through Homebrew.




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