I installed ZSH on a VM of mine, where I compiled it from source. The location of ZSH is /usr/local/bin/zsh when I run chsh -s /usr/local/bin/zsh it outputs chsh: /usr/local/bin/zsh is an invalid shell. I also tried this with sudo as well. How can I change this?

  • possible duplicate of Where do I change my shell? – Mikel Jan 28 '14 at 19:56
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    @Mikel, no, that question is "I don't know about chsh" rather than "chsh isn't working for me". – cjm Jan 28 '14 at 20:01

Add zsh to /etc/shells:

command -v zsh | sudo tee -a /etc/shells

You can now use chsh to set zsh as shell:

sudo chsh -s "$(command -v zsh)" "${USER}"

See this documentation: Changing your login shell

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You need to add /usr/local/bin/zsh to /etc/shells.

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First, check if zsh is listed as a valid shell by

cat /etc/shells

If zsh is not listed, install it. For example, if you use apt

sudo apt-get install zsh

Do, step 1 again and see the path of zsh. In my case, both /usr/bin/zsh and /usr/zsh is listed. As @Stéphane Chazelas mentioned in the comment, if you like to compile and install the shell from scratch, be sure to add the path in /etc/shells.

Change the shell using

chsh -s /usr/bin/zsh

From man page:

-s, --shell SHELL The name of the user's new login shell. Setting this field to blank causes the system to select the default login shell.

Logout and login again.

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  • Yes, if you install the shell as part of a OS package, the OS packaging will typically add the shell to /etc/shells. The point here is that if you compile and install the shell by hand, you also need to add the path to /etc/shells yourself by hand. – Stéphane Chazelas Apr 28 '17 at 9:11
  • Good point. I was thinking of a package manager like 'apt'. I have edited the answer to include your point. – Sat Yam Apr 28 '17 at 9:22
  • This is essentially what the other two answers have already said, though. – Jeff Schaller Apr 28 '17 at 10:22

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