The default interactive shell is now zsh. What does it mean for you?

Have you updated to MacOS Catalina and every time you open the Terminal you see a message that says The default interactive shell is now zsh? After reading this article you know what this means and how to get rid of the message.

After upgrading to Catalina, you may have noticed the Terminal shows a message that the default shell has been switched from using Bash (Bourne-again shell) to zsh (Z shell).

Here is the full message:

The default interactive shell is now zsh.
To update your account to use zsh, please run `chsh -s /bin/zsh`.
For more details, please visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT208050.

You can check what shell you are actually running with the following command:

echo $0

Output:

-bash

This showed me that although the default shell might be Z shell, I’m still using bash in the Terminal. That leaves me with 2 options:

Option 1: Suppress the message and keep using bash

nano ~/.bash_profile
export BASH_SILENCE_DEPRECATION_WARNING=1

Option 2: Change Terminal shell to zsh

The message in the Terminal tells you to change the shell to zsh with the following command:

chsh -s /bin/zsh

That should do the trick but it did not work on my machine. If you encounter the same problem, read on.

Changing shell to zsh with ‘chsh’ command does not work

If you tried the chsh command and still see the message when opening the Terminal, you can try the following:

change shell

Now if you close and open the Terminal, zsh is being used:

echo $0

Output:

-zsh

I hope this helps you to understand what changed in Catalina and how to either suppress the message or change to szh

Written by Loek van den Ouweland on December 19, 2019. Questions regarding this artice? You can send them to the address below.
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