In ubuntu (and likely elsewhere), if I misspell a command, the shell suggests similarly spelled commands:

askewchan@foppl:~$ exi
No command 'exi' found, did you mean:
 Command 'ex' from package 'vim' (main)
 Command 'exif' from package 'exif' (universe)
 Command 'exim' from package 'exim4-daemon-heavy' (main)
 Command 'exim' from package 'exim4-daemon-light' (main)
 Command 'esi' from package 'atm-tools' (universe)
 Command 'kexi' from package 'kexi' (main)
 Command 'exp' from package 'alliance' (universe)
 Command 'axi' from package 'afnix' (universe)
exi: command not found

(which didn't work in this case, as I had intended to type exit). Apparently this comes from apt-get install command-not-found, but is there something like this for OS X?

Is there anything similar that would work on OS X or bash in general?

1 Answer 1


Well, unless you have fink, brew or macports installed, there isn't a repository for bash to search. Except there kind of is - fish searches man page descriptions (kind of like apropos).

http://fishshell.com/ has "man page completions" which seems relevant:

"Other shells support programmable completions, but only fish generates them automatically by parsing your installed man pages. "

Or zsh has auto-predictions:


If you're ok with hitting tab, which might prevent the typo in the first place?

You can do auto-completion in bash, though it's not as sophisticated as zsh:

Bash completion for commands in Mac OS X

  • There must already be the list of executables in PATH or something simpler, how else do all the command autocomplete? To be clear, I don't expect it to search uninstalled packages, just commands that exist. git does this as well, actually.
    – askewchan
    Oct 1, 2014 at 1:46

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