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Currently it is:


Outside of renaming my machine and directory structure...

How could I make it be something more like:

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3 Answers 3

up vote 42 down vote accepted

To change it for the current terminal instance only

Just enter PS1='\u:\W\$ ' and press enter.

To change it "permanently"

In your ~/.bashrc, find the following section:

if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$ '

Remove the @\h, and replace the \w with an uppercase \W, so that it becomes:

if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\W\[\033[00m\]\$ '
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u:\W\$ '

Save, exit, close terminal and start another to see the result.

Tons more options!

  • See here for a more extensive howto, with many more options
  • See this answer for using up a tiny Python script to set the prompt so that the shortening only occurs when you are deep in a directory structure.
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You can also have a lot of information... and then a carriage return at the end as in unix.stackexchange.com/q/88780/10043 –  Michael Durrant May 23 '14 at 22:18


Will show only last 3 directory name in bash prompt. You can choose 1 to show only current directory.

The effect:

/var/lib/apt/lists# PROMPT_DIRTRIM=3
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Just a sidenote: This requires Bash 4. –  Stefan Lasiewski Jun 18 '14 at 0:12

This is my preferred display:

added in ~/.bashrc

PS1='[\u@\h \W]\$ '    


[user@hostname dirname]#
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