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when i open the terminal, it looks like this (without the *'s)


the code thing and montenrgro@montenrgro takes up a lot of space, on my laptop. Any way I can decrease it to just: /home/Desktop. I'm sure there is some kinda of specialization to the terminal, but i can't find it. I've tried changing profile but that doesn't seems to work either

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Don't forget to put the following line in your ~/.bashrc file, if you want the PS1 (stands for First Prompt String) to be permanent:

export PS1="\\w$ "

Similarly you can also change PS2 or PS3.

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You can use the variable PS1. So you would do:

$ PS1=\\w$

to get what you want. You can read the manual page

$ man bash

and see under "PROMPTING" to read about the different options. Remember that you need to escape a backslash into a double backslash for the codes like \w.

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when i write PS1 in the terminal, it gives me command not found – John Deer Aug 13 '12 at 11:22
The command is sensitive to spaces - PS1=\\w$ should work. (In the shell foo=bar sets variable foo to bar, foo = bar calls the program foo (if it exists) with arguments ` = bar`). – chronitis Aug 13 '12 at 11:46
edited the answer per chronitis' correction – John S Gruber Aug 13 '12 at 16:16

You should write:

export PS1=\\w$

in the end of the file ".bashrc" in your home directory.

Or use the command echo 'export PS1=\\w$' >> ~/.bashrc, that will do it without needing to open the file with a text editor.

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It doesn't seem necessary to export this to the environment, just setting the PS1 variable seems to suffice. – John S Gruber Aug 13 '12 at 16:16

Using parse_git_branch, the following works as well.

if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then
 PS1='NAME\w$(parse_git_branch)\[\033[00m\]\$ '
 PS1='NAME\w$(parse_git_branch)\$ '

where you replace NAME with whatever you want displayed.

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