a-Shell 17+

Local interactive terminal

Nicolas Holzschuch

    • Free



Local iOS terminal, with Python, Lua, JS, C, C++, TeX, sh and all Unix utilities.
Perfect for programming locally on iPads and iPhones, efficient with Shortcuts

a-Shell is a complete local terminal emulator, allowing to run most Unix commands on you iOS device. You can transfer files using scp and curl, edit them with vim and ed, process them using grep, awk and sed. You can work with git repositories using lg2.

a-Shell includes Python, Lua, Perl, JavaScript, C, C++ for programming and TeX (texlive 2022, with Tikz and LuaTeX) for text processing.

There are also multiple network utilities: nslookup, ping, whois, ifconfig... Type help for help, help -l to get the full list of commands.

a-Shell can be controlled from Shortcuts: run commands in order, process files in a-Shell, get the results as text or files, transfer files to other apps...

a-shell uses iOS 13+ “multiple windows” ability, so you can run multiple shells at the same time, with different commands, in different directories. You can edit a file in one window with vim and process it in the other with python.

Compile your C or C++ programs to webAssembly using clang or clang++, and execute the resulting binary. A complete webAssembly SDK is included (WASI-libc).

a-Shell is the complete version. If you need a smaller app, and you don't need a C compiler, a TeX engine, or numpy and matplotlib, there is a-Shell mini.

What’s New

Version 1.12.1

- Everything from 1.12.0: new Python modules: OpenCV, Astropy, TeXLive 2023, with pdfTeX, LuaTeX, XeTeX, upTeX (and their LaTeX versions too)
- Plus more Python modules: GeoPandas, PyProj, Fiona, Rasterio... and the ability to pip install Sunpy.
- a lot of bug fixes, especially memory leaks.

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
294 Ratings

294 Ratings

RSnake ,

Pretty cool, but missing some features

It would be nice to be able to have a bashrc or something that allows you to control prompts, and a ps and kill functionality and screen, etc…. for batch jobs. But the really odd thing is hitting a button (other than space and enter keys for some reason) won’t repeat the character - that’s super annoying in vim for instance, because it means you have to do some funky things just to move the cursor around at any sort of speed. [EDIT: The developer said there’s a setting to use the cap’s lock as an escape key that if you disable, allows you to get this feature. For those who don’t know you can use control-[ to get an escape char too.] But overall really cool/useful. Even with a lack of wget (not a fan of curl), you can do pip install wget then python -m wget <site> and poof.

Developer Response ,

If you activate "caps-lock as escape" in the App settings, you also get auto-repeat for keys. It's pretty useful for Vim, I agree, but incompatible with multi-char input.

Stevo3985 ,

Seems like just a scam app and a lot of disappointment

It sure promises a LOT of features I need, but I guess I’ll stick with the Alpine Linux container in iSH, cuz this app won’t even recognize my text inputs. I am not an iOS noob, and my day, I am a systems engineer for a network video company. I NEED these utilities on my iPhone, but not a single item can be used in the full @-shell and the mini is incapable of doing anything from inside the container where it exists. I couldn’t even run a simple SCP, rsync, or even ssh session to try and move files from a remote server. If this app isn’t a scam, it needs a lot of work, cuz I have worked through a whole week worth of remedy attempts, and have tried to reboot, reinstall, even factory reset and restored my iPhone from DFU mode (you read that correctly, I need this badly enough that I went scorched earth and started from scratch, and STILL cannot get this app to respond to my iPhone 13 Pro text inputs from any of my 3 keyboards) 🤦‍♂️

Fix it and I’ll fix my review. PLEASE!!!!

Developer Response ,

For actual help, there is: e-mail: another_shell@icloud.com, github issues: https://github.com/holzschu/a-shell/issues or discussions: https://github.com/holzschu/a-shell/discussions discord: https://discord.gg/cvYnZm69Gy and twitter: https://twitter.com/a_shell_ios
All of these offer a faster response time than appStore reviews (I do respond to all queries). I'll need a more accurate description of the symptoms, though.

NeoYokel ,

The notable boundary-pusher of local command line functions on iOS/iPadOS

There are now quite a few terminal emulator-esque apps on the App Store, but I've been using a-Shell since it was joined only by Blink (from which it was forked) and iSH. As it was then, a-Shell remains the only one of these with which one can actually accomplish command line tasks *locally* beyond screwing around. I am ultimately not a command line native, and I don't have the basic theory beneath my use of Python scripts, yet I've been able to accomplish startlingly powerful things within this app, thanks in large part to gracious and immediately-available support via the project's Discord server.

If you've found yourself here by way of a Siri Shortcut's requirement, I would encourage you to take the time to investigate the commands said shortcut(s) run - try running them yourself!

App Privacy

The developer, Nicolas Holzschuch, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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