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January 03, 2008

How to change bash prompt

Some people have asked me how I changed my bash/terminal prompt from the default prompt to what I have. It’s actually a very simple process.

Change Terminal Prompt | Step 1

First, load up Terminal and open up your ~/.bash_profile file. (FYI, be sure to read the difference between .bash_profile and .bashrc.)

Change Terminal Prompt | Step 2

Then type the following:

export PS1="\w>: "
export PS2=" > "

There are a lot of possible things you can enter. Here are some of them that work well:

Command Description Example
\a ASCII bell character
\d the current date Sun Feb 08
\H hostname Ginger.local
\h shortened hostname Ginger
\u your username dave
\w current working directory /Applications/Network
\W basename of the current working directory Network
\T current time (12-hour HH:MM:SS format) 01:16:49
\t current time (HH:MM:SS format) 13:16:49
\@ current time (12-hour AM/PM format) 1:16 PM
\n new line
\\ print a backslash \

Table via MacDevCenter.com