murex Shell Docs

User Guide: murex's Interactive Shell

What's different about murex's interactive shell?


Aside from murex being carefully designed with scripting in mind, the interactive shell itself is also built around productivity. To achieve this we wrote our own readline library. Below is an example of that library in use:


The above demo includes the following features of murex's bespoke readline library:


murex supports inline spellchecking, where errors are underlined. For example


This might require some manual steps to enable, please see the spellcheck user guide for more details.

Hint Text

The hint text is a (typically) blue status line that appears directly below your prompt. The idea behind the hint text is to provide clues to you as type instructions into the prompt; but without adding distractions. It is there to be used if you want it while keeping out of the way when you don't want it.

Enable / Disable Hint Text

It is enabled by default but can be disabled if you prefer a more minimal prompt:

» config: set shell hint-text-enabled false

Hint Text Colour

By default the hint text will appear blue. This is also customizable:

» config get shell hint-text-formatting

The formatting config takes a string and supports ANSI constants.

It is also worth noting that if colour is disabled then the hint text will not be coloured even if hint-text-formatting includes colour codes:

» config: set shell color false

(please note that syntax highlighting is unaffected by the above config)

Custom Hint Text Statuses

There is a lot of behavior hardcoded into murex like displaying the full path to executables and the values of variables. However if there is no status to be displayed then murex can fallback to a default hint text status. This default is a user defined function. At time of writing this document the author has the following function defined:

» config: get shell hint-text-func
    trypipe <!null> {
        git status --porcelain -b -> set gitstatus
        #$gitstatus -> head -n1 -> sed -r 's/^## //;s/\.\.\./ => /' -> set gitbranch
        $gitstatus -> head -n1 -> regexp 's/^## //' -> regexp 's/\.\.\./ => /' -> set gitbranch
        let gitchanges=${ out $gitstatus -> sed 1d -> wc -l }
        !if { $gitchanges } then { ({GREEN}) } else { ({RED}) }
        (Git{BLUE}: $gitbranch ($gitchanges pending). )
    catch {
        ({YELLOW}Git{BLUE}: Not a git repository. )

    if { $SSH_AGENT_PID } then {
        ({GREEN}ssh-agent{BLUE}: $SSH_AGENT_PID. )
    } else {
        ({RED}ssh-agent{BLUE}: No env set. )

    if { pgrep: vpnc } then {
        ({YELLOW}VPN{BLUE}: vpnc is active. )

    if { ps aux -> regexp m/openvpn --errors-to-stderr --log/ } then {
        ({YELLOW}VPN{BLUE}: openvpn is active. )

    trypipe <!null> {
        open: -> format json -> [ terraform ] -> [ 0 ] -> [ required_version ] -> sed -r 's/\s0\./ /' -> set tfmod
        terraform: version -> head -n1 -> regexp (f/Terraform v0\.([0-9.]+)$) -> set tfver
        if { = tfmod >= tfver } then { ({GREEN}) } else { ({RED}) }
        (Terraform{BLUE}: $tfver; required $tfmod. )

    if { $AWS_SESSION_TOKEN } then {
        set aws_expiration
        set int date=${ date +%s }

        if { os linux } then {
            set int aws_expiration=${ date -d $AWS_SESSION_EXPIRATION +%s }
        } else {
            set int aws_expiration=${ date -j -f "%FT%R:%SZ" $AWS_SESSION_EXPIRATION +%s }

        = (($aws_expiration-$date)/60) -> format int -> set aws_session_time
        if { = aws_session_time < 1 } then { ({RED}) } else { ({GREEN}) }
        (awscon{BLUE}: $AWS_SESSION_NAME => $aws_session_time mins. )

...which produces a colorized status that looks something like the following:

Git: develop => origin/develop [ahead 1] (9 pending). ssh-agent: 34607.


Autocompletion happen when you press {TAB} and will differ slightly depending on what is defined in autocomplete and whether you use the traditional POSIX pipe token, |, or the arrow pipe, ->.

The | token will behave much like any other shell however -> will offer suggestions with matching data types (as seen in runtime --methods). This is a way of helping highlight commands that naturally follow after another in a pipeline. Which is particularly important in murex as it introduces data types and dozens of new builtins specifically for working with data structures in an intelligent and readable yet succinct way.

You can add your own commands and functions to murex as methods by defining them with method. For example if we were to add jq as a method:

method: define jq {
    "Stdin":  "json",
    "Stdout": "@Any"

Tab Completion: Grid

This is where the completion suggestions are arranged in a grid. This is the default.

Tab Completion: ListView

This is where the completion suggestions are arranged in a list with a description along the side.

Syntax Completion

Like with most IDEs, murex will auto close brackets et al.


Syntax Highlighting

Pipelines in the interactive terminal are syntax highlighted. This is similar to what one expects from an IDE.

Syntax highlighting can be disabled by running:

» config: set shell syntax-highlighting off

See Also

This site's content is rebuilt automatically from murex's source code after each merge to the master branch. Downloadable murex binaries are also built with the website.

Last built on Fri Oct 22 16:26:06 UTC 2021 against commit 19d2aeb19d2aeb27e814a4c6fec77d229cc32d68404c061.

Current version is 2.3.4000 BETA which has been verified against tests.