External Completers


Carapace completer

let carapace_completer = {|spans|
    carapace $spans.0 nushell $spans | from json

Fish completer

This completer will use the fish shellopen in new window to handle completions. Fish handles out of the box completions for many popular tools and commands.

let fish_completer = {|spans|
    fish --command $'complete "--do-complete=($spans | str join " ")"'
    | $"value(char tab)description(char newline)" + $in
    | from tsv --flexible --no-infer

A couple of things to note on this command:

  • The fish completer will return lines of text, each one holding the value and description separated by a tab. The description can be missing, and in that case there won't be a tab after the value. If that happens, from tsv will fail, so we add the --flexible flag.
  • $"value(char tab)description(char newline)" + $in exists to fix another edge case. Even with the --flexible flag, if the first line of the input doesn't have a second column the parser will skip that column for all the input. This is fixed adding a header to the input before-hand.
  • --no-infer is optional. from tsv will infer the data type of the result, so a numeric value like some git hashes will be inferred as a number. --no-infer will keep everything as a string. It doesn't make a difference in practice but it will print a more consistent output if the completer is ran on it's own.

Zoxide completer

Zoxideopen in new window allows easily jumping between visited folders in the system. It's possible to autocomplete matching folders with this completer:

let zoxide_completer = {|spans|
    $spans | skip 1 | zoxide query -l $in | lines | where {|x| $x != $env.PWD}

This completer is not usable for almost every other command, so it's recommended to add it as an override in the multiple completer:

    z: $zoxide_completer
    zi: $zoxide_completer

Note Zoxide sets an alias (z by default) that calls the __zoxide_z function. If alias completions are supported, the following snippet can be used instead:

    __zoxide_z: $zoxide_completer
    __zoxide_zi: $zoxide_completer

Multiple completer

Sometimes, a single external completer is not flexible enough. Luckily, as many as needed can be combined into a single one. The following example uses $default_completer for all commands except the ones explicitly defined in the record:

let multiple_completers = {|spans|
    match $spans.0
        ls => $ls_completer
        git => $git_completer
        _ => $default_completer
    } | do $in $spans

Note In the example above, $spans.0 is the command being run at the time. The completer will match the desired completer, and fallback to $default_completer.

  • If we try to autocomplete git <tab>, spans will be [git ""]. match $spans.0 { ... } will return the $git_completer.
  • If we try to autocomplete other_command <tab>, spans will be [other_command ""]. The match will fallback to the default case (_) and return the $default_completer.


Alias completions

Nushell currently has a bug where autocompletions won't work for aliasesopen in new window. This can be worked around adding the following snippet at the beginning of the completer:

# if the current command is an alias, get it's expansion
let expanded_alias = (scope aliases | where name == $spans.0 | get -i 0 | get -i expansion)

# overwrite
let spans = (if $expanded_alias != null  {
    # put the first word of the expanded alias first in the span
    $spans | skip 1 | prepend ($expanded_alias | split row " ")
} else { $spans })

This code will take the first span, find the first alias that matches it, and replace the beginning of the command with the alias expansion.

ERR unknown shorthand flag using carapace

Carapace will return this error when a non-supported flag is provided. For example, with cargo -1:

-1ERRunknown shorthand flag: "1" in -1

The solution to this involves manually checking the value to filter it out:

let carapace_completer = {|spans: list<string>|
    carapace $spans.0 nushell $spans
    | from json
    | if ($in | default [] | where value == $"($spans | last)ERR" | is-empty) { $in } else { null }

Putting it all together

This is an example of how an external completer definition might look like:

let fish_completer = ...

let carapace_completer = {|spans: list<string>|
    carapace $spans.0 nushell $spans
    | from json
    | if ($in | default [] | where value =~ '^-.*ERR$' | is-empty) { $in } else { null }

# This completer will use carapace by default
let external_completer = {|spans|
    let expanded_alias = scope alias-completions
    | where name == $spans.0
    | get -i 0.expansion

    let spans = if $expanded_alias != null {
        | skip 1
        | prepend ($expanded_alias | split row ' ')
    } else {

    match $spans.0 {
        # carapace completions are incorrect for nu
        nu => $fish_completer
        # fish completes commits and branch names in a nicer way
        git => $fish_completer
        # carapace doesn't have completions for asdf
        asdf => $fish_completer
        _ => $carapace_completer
    } | do $in $spans

$env.config = {
    # ...
    completions: {
        external: {
            enable: true
            completer: $external_completer
    # ...