Mind Mining Medium

August 28, 2009

Setting terminal tab titles

I’ve always hated the fact that I would have 5-10 tabs open in Terminal, and they would all say bash.

Mac Terminal Example

After doing some quick research, I stumbled on decent solution on setting window and tab names in the Leopard Terminal.

You can add the following code block to either your .bash_profile or .bashrc.

function set_window_and_tab_title
    local title="$1"
    if [[ -z "$title" ]]; then

    local tmpdir=~/Library/Caches/${FUNCNAME}_temp
    local cmdfile="$tmpdir/$title"

    # Set window title
    echo -n -e "\e]0;${title}\a"

    # Set tab title
    if [[ -n ${CURRENT_TAB_TITLE_PID:+1} ]]; then
    mkdir -p $tmpdir
    ln /bin/sleep "$cmdfile"
    "$cmdfile" 10 &
    CURRENT_TAB_TITLE_PID=$(jobs -x echo %+)
    disown %+
    command rm -f "$cmdfile"

PROMPT_COMMAND='set_window_and_tab_title "${PWD##*/}"'

Shell settings

Restart bash and everything should be working, hunky-dory. One problem you’ll notice is that when you try to close a session, terminal will prompt you about running processes. This is a side-affect of forking the process. A quick fix is to set the "Prompt before closing" in Preferences > Settings > Shell to “Never”.