When Termux is first started a minimal bootstrap environment is installed - the apt package manager may be used to install further packages.

Text editing

By default the busybox version of vi is available. This is a barebone and somewhat unfriendly editor - run apt install nano for a more straight-forward editor and apt install vim for a more powerful one.

Interactive shells

The base system that is installed when first starting Termux uses the bash shell, which is the default shell on most Linux distributions, with resources such as Bash Guide for Beginners, the Bash Reference Manual and the Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide available.

By apt install zsh package the Zsh shell can be used - a powerful shell with information available at A User’s Guide to the Z-Shell, the Z Shell Manual and ZSH Tips. After installing zsh through apt install zsh, execute chsh -s zsh to set it as the default login shell when starting Termux (and change back with chsh -s bash if necessary).

Various common packages

The initial Termux installation contains lightweight versions of many classic Unix tools such as cp, mv, ls, tar and wget - run busybox --help for a full list.

There are several more packages which provide more compatible and complete variants of these tools:

  • apt install coreutils for the full-fledlged variants of base utilities such as mv, ls, test, uniq and more.

  • apt install wget installs GNU wget. Alternatives to wget are aria2c, curl and lftp.

  • apt install tar installs GNU tar.

  • apt install less installs the complete less command.