switch - conditionally execute a block of commands


switch VALUE; [case [GLOB ...]; [COMMANDS ...]; ...] end


switch performs one of several blocks of commands, depending on whether a specified value equals one of several globbed values. case is used together with the switch statement in order to determine which block should be executed.

Each case command is given one or more parameters. The first case command with a parameter that matches the string specified in the switch command will be evaluated. case parameters may contain globs. These need to be escaped or quoted in order to avoid regular glob expansion using filenames.

Note that fish does not fall through on case statements. Only the first matching case is executed.

Note that break cannot be used to exit a case/switch block early like in other languages. It can only be used in loops.

Note that command substitutions in a case statement will be evaluated even if its body is not taken. All substitutions, including command substitutions, must be performed before the value can be compared against the parameter.


If the variable $animal contains the name of an animal, the following code would attempt to classify it:

switch $animal
    case cat
        echo evil
    case wolf dog human moose dolphin whale
        echo mammal
    case duck goose albatross
        echo bird
    case shark trout stingray
        echo fish
    case '*'
        echo I have no idea what a $animal is

If the above code was run with $animal set to whale, the output would be mammal.