Nu has a small, but growing, number of internal variables you can set to change how it looks and how it operates. Below is a list of the current variables, their types, and a description of how they’re used

Variable Type Description
completion_mode “list” or “circular” the style of autocompletion to use
ctrlc_exit boolean whether or not to exit Nu after multiple ctrl-c presses
disable_table_indexes boolean removes the table index column
edit_mode “vi” or “emacs” changes line editing to “vi” or “emacs” mode
env row the environment variables to pass to external commands
header_align “center”, “right”, or other aligns table headers center-, right-, or left-aligned
key_timeout integer the timeout used to switch between edit modes
nonzero_exit_errors boolean whether to print errors for non-zero exit codes for externals
path list of strings PATH to use to find binaries
startup list of strings commands, like aliases, to run when nushell starts
table_mode “light” or other enable lightweight or normal tables
no_auto_pivot boolean whether or not to automatically pivot single-row results
skip_welcome_message boolean whether or not to skip displaying the welcome message when nushell starts


Setting variables

To set one of these variables, you can use config set. For example:

> config set edit_mode "vi"

Setting a variable from the pipeline

There’s an additional way to set a variable, and that is to use the contents of the pipeline as the value you want to use for the variable. For this, use the set_into flag:

> echo "bar" | config set_into foo

This is helpful when working with the env and path variables.

Listing all variables

Running the config command without any arguments will show a table of the current configuration settings:

> config
 completion_mode │ circular 
 env             │ [row 51 columns] 
 path            │ [table 9 rows] 
 startup         │ [table 1 rows] 

Note: if you haven’t set any configuration variables, yet, this may be empty.

Getting a variable

Using the get flag, you can retrieve the value for a given variable:

> config get edit_mode

Removing a variable

To remove a variable from the configuration, use the remove flag:

> config remove edit_mode

Clearing the whole configuration

If you want to clear the whole configuration and start fresh, you can use the clear flag. Of course, be careful with this as once you run it, the configuration file is also cleared.

> config clear

Finding where the configuration is stored

The configuration file is loaded from a default location. To find what this location is on your system, you can ask for it using the path flag:

> config path

Loading the config from a file

You may wish to load the configuration from a different file than the default. To do so, use the load parameter:

> config load myconfiguration.toml

Configuring Nu as a login shell

To use Nu as a login shell, you’ll need to configure the path and env configuration variables. With these, you’ll have enough support to run external commands as a login shell.

Before switching, run Nu inside of another shell, like Bash. Then, take the environment and PATH from that shell with the following commands:

> config set path $nu.path
> config set env  $nu.env

Versions before 0.7.2 used:

> config --set [path $nu:path]
> config --set [env $nu:env]

The $nu.path and $nu.env values are set to the current PATH and environment variables, respectively. Once you set these into the configuration, they’ll be available later when using Nu as a login shell.

Next, on some distros you’ll also need to ensure Nu is in the /etc/shells list:

> cat /etc/shells
# /etc/shells: valid login shells

With this, you should be able to chsh and set Nu to be your login shell. After a logout, on your next login you should be greeted with a shiny Nu prompt.

Prompt configuration

Prompt configuration is handled by setting the value of prompt.

For example, to use Starship, download it and enter the following command (0.18.2 and later):

config set prompt `echo $(starship prompt)`

Now restart Nu.

nushell on 📙 master [$] is 📦 v0.18.2 via 🦀 v1.48.0-nightly