Ubuntu: Can't make ZSH the default shell


I am trying to set ZSH as my default shell, however it keeps reverting back to bash.

I have tried this code:

sudo chsh -s $(which zsh)  

I've also tried:

sudo chsh -s /bin/zsh   

Also tried these commands without sudo. Any ideas on what else I need to do. When running ZSH from within bash it loads up and works fine but I'd like to set it as the default shell.


If you use sudo it will change the shell not for your working user but for root. Just using

chsh -s $(which zsh)  

without sudo should work (but you need to login again to see the change).


I found this on superuser forum

Open /etc/passwd:

sudo vi /etc/passwd  

Find the line with your username:

username:x:1634231:100:Your Name:/home/username:/bin/bash  

and replace bash with zsh:

username:x:1634231:100:Your Name:/home/username:/bin/zsh  

Log out and log in back for the changes to take effect.


If zsh is not /bin/zsh then chsh won't work. On Ubuntu it is /usr/bin/zsh. so doing chsh -s /usr/bin/zsh or chsh -s `which zsh` should work. Also need to re-login to desktop session.


Strange, the "accepted" answer didn't work for me as I got

chsh: PAM: Authentication failure  

To solve this issue edit your /etc/passwd and make sure it points to the zsh location. (You can find this by running "which zsh") In my case my user called "webmaster" looked like this: enter image description here


You may also do this:

open your bashrc file in your favourite editor

sudo nano ~/.bashrc  

then add the line below top of the file

exec zsh  

It will execute the command every time you load the terminal and run your zsh shell.

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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