I've used bash shell in all my Linuxes and in Mac OS X. I understand that tcsh is the default shell in FreeBSD. If I were to install bash, how would I make it my default shell?

  • 1
    Should we distinguish between the root user and a non-root user?
    – Jeff Schaller
    Feb 16, 2019 at 15:37
  • I haven't voted on the question, but it might be worth noting whether you're aware of the chsh / chpass command or not.
    – Jeff Schaller
    Feb 16, 2019 at 15:50
  • As with most things, if you read the documentation in the Handbook, you'd have your answer.
    – Rob
    Feb 17, 2019 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


Changing one's login shell is covered by The FreeBSD Handbook, in the chapter called Shells. It also points to a chapter called Installing Applications: Packages and Ports that will tell you what you need to know for installing bash (installing bash from a FreeBSD package would automatically update /etc/shells).

The steps involved, assuming an otherwise properly set up FreeBSD system, could probably be summarised into

sudo pkg install bash
chsh -s /usr/local/bin/bash

There is also the pw utility.

pw usermod <user> -s /usr/local/bin/bash

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