Introduction to ZSH

The ZSH package contains a command interpreter (shell) usable as an interactive login shell and as a shell script command processor. Of the standard shells, ZSH most closely resembles KSH but includes many enhancements.



This version of ZSH does not work properly with multibyte locales (e.g., UTF-8). A development version is available that addresses many, but not all, locale related issues. You can download the development version from the ZSH Sourceforge Download Page and use the following BLFS instructions to build and install.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

ZSH Dependencies



User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/zsh

Installation of ZSH

If you downloaded the optional documentation, unpack it the same way you would the source tarball. The documentation will unpack into the Doc directory of the source tree.

Install ZSH by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --sysconfdir=/etc/zsh \
            --enable-etcdir=/etc/zsh &&

If you downloaded the optional documentation, and you have teTeX-3.0 installed, you can build additional formats of the documentation by issuing any or all of the following commands:

texi2pdf  Doc/zsh.texi -o Doc/zsh.pdf &&
texi2html Doc/zsh.texi --output=Doc/zsh_1file_t.html &&
makeinfo  Doc/zsh.texi --html --no-split --no-headers \
                       -o Doc/zsh_1file_m.html &&
makeinfo  Doc/zsh.texi --plaintext -o Doc/zsh.txt

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
make infodir=/usr/share/info install.info

If you downloaded the optional documentation, install it by issuing the following commands as the root user:

make htmldir=/usr/share/doc/zsh-4.2.6/html install.html &&
install -v -m644 Doc/*.{ps,dvi} /usr/share/doc/zsh-4.2.6

If you built any additional formats of the documentation, install them by issuing the following command as the root user:

install -v -m644 Doc/{zsh_1file*,*.{pdf,txt}} \

Command Explanations

--sysconfdir=/etc/zsh and --enable-etcdir=/etc/zsh: These parameters are used so that all the ZSH configuration files are consolidated into the /etc/zsh directory. Omit these parameters if you wish to retain historical compatibility by having all the files located in the /etc directory.

Configuring ZSH

Config Files

There are a whole host of configuration files for ZSH including /etc/zsh/zshenv, /etc/zsh/zprofile, /etc/zsh/zshrc, /etc/zsh/zlogin and /etc/zsh/zlogout. You can find more information on these in the zsh(1) and related manual pages.

Configuration Information

Update /etc/shells to include the ZSH shell program names (as the root user):

cat >> /etc/shells << "EOF"


Installed Programs: zsh and zsh-4.2.6
Installed Libraries: Numerous plugin helper modules
Installed Directories: /etc/zsh, /usr/lib/zsh, /usr/share/doc/zsh-4.2.6 and /usr/share/zsh

Short Description


is a shell which has command-line editing, built-in spelling correction, programmable command completion, shell functions (with autoloading), a history mechanism, and a host of other features.

Last updated on 2007-01-30 14:24:11 -0600