Shells in shells

Working in multiple directories

While it's common to work in one directory, it can be handy to work in multiple places at the same time. For this, Nu offers the concept of "shells". As the name implies, they're a way of running multiple shells in one, allowing you to quickly jump between working directories and more.

To get started, let's enter a directory:

/home/jonathan/Source/nushell(main)> enter ../book
/home/jonathan/Source/book(main)> ls
────┬────────────────────┬──────┬────────┬─────────────
 #  │ name               │ type │ size   │ modified
────┼────────────────────┼──────┼────────┼─────────────
  0  404.html            File   429 B  2 hours ago
  1  CONTRIBUTING.md     File   955 B  2 hours ago
  2  Gemfile             File  1.1 KB  2 hours ago
  3  Gemfile.lock        File  6.9 KB  2 hours ago

Entering is similar to changing directories (as we saw with the cd command). This allows you to jump into a directory to work in it. Instead of changing the directory, we now are in two directories. To see this more clearly, we can use the shells command to list the current directories we have active:

/home/jonathan/Source/book(main)> enter ../music
/home/jonathan/Source/music(main)> shells
───┬────────┬───────────────────────────────
 # │ active │             path
───┼────────┼───────────────────────────────
 0  false   /home/jonathan/Source/nushell
 1  false   /home/jonathan/Source/book
 2  true    /home/jonathan/Source/music
───┴────────┴───────────────────────────────

The shells command shows us there are three shells: our original "nushell" source directory, "book" directory and "music" directory which is currently active.

We can jump between these shells with the n, p and g shortcuts, short for "next", "previous" and "goto":

/home/jonathan/Source/music(main)> p
/home/jonathan/Source/book(main)> n
/home/jonathan/Source/music(main)> g 0
/home/jonathan/Source/nushell(main)>

We can see the directory changing, but we're always able to get back to a previous directory we were working on. This allows us to work in multiple directories in the same session.

Exiting the shell

You can leave a shell you have entered using the dexit command.

You can always quit Nu, even if multiple shells are active, using exit.