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Using the Pachyderm Shell

The Pachyderm Shell is a special-purpose shell for Pachyderm that provides auto-suggesting as you type. New Pachyderm users will find this user-friendly shell especially appealing as it helps to learn pachctl, type commands faster, and displays useful information about the objects you are interacting with. This new shell does not supersede the classic use of pachctl shell in your standard terminal, but is a compelling convenience for power users and beginners alike. If you prefer to use just pachctl, you can continue to do so.

To enter the Pachyderm Shell, type:

pachctl shell

When you enter pachctl shell, your prompt changes to display your current Pachyderm context, as well as displays a list of available commands in a drop-down list.

Pachyderm Shell

To scroll through the list, press TAB and then use arrows to move up or down. Press SPACE to select a command.

When in the Pachyderm Shell, you do not need to prepend your commands with pachctl because Pachyderm does that for you automatically behind the scenes. For example, instead of running pachctl list repo, run list repo:

Pachyderm Shell list repo

With nested commands, pachctl shell can do even more. For example, if you type list file <repo>@<branch>/, you can preview and select files from that branch:

Pachyderm Shell list file

Similarly, you can select a commit:

Pachyderm Shell list commit

Exit the Pachyderm Shell

To exit the Pachyderm Shell, press CTRL-D or type exit.

Clearing Cached Completions

To optimize performance and achieve faster response time, the Pachyderm Shell caches completion results. You can clear this cache by pressing F5 forcing the Pachyderm Shell to send requests to the server for new completions.

Clearing the screen

To clear the screen, press CTRL-L.


The Pachyderm Shell does not support standard UNIX commands or kubectl commands. To run them, exit the Pachyderm Shell or run the commands in a different terminal window.

Last update: April 5, 2021
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