The developers of the Z shell have announced the release of zsh 5.0.0, the first major stable version of the tool since zsh 4.2 was released in 2004. Zsh is a shell for Unix and Unix-like operating systems that is mainly designed for interactive use, but is also suited to other tasks. The latest stable release of the project was zsh 4.2.7 in 2008.
The 5.0 release includes the features that have been developed in the unstable 4.3.x branch of the project; this includes support for highlighting, colour display and job control in non-interactive use. This new release also adds support for multibyte character strings.
Version 5.0 of zsh includes new options that improve POSIX compliance, debugging and the history functions of the shell. New shell variables give users information about the current sub-shell level and the exact patch level of the tool, providing more granularity between release versions. Users can define patterns to be ignored by spelling correction. Z shell 5.0 also includes several new features that improve text completion, command evaluation and expansion of parameters. A full list of new features is available in the NEWS file for the release.
The source code for zsh is licensed under its own MIT-like licence and can be downloaded from the project's mirrors and FTP server.