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I was wondering if it was possible to add timestamps to terminal prompts, and if so, how could I achieve this?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Add this line to the .bashrc file

export PROMPT_COMMAND="echo -n \[\$(date +%H:%M:%S)\]\ "

So the output will be something like:

[07:00:31] user@name:~$

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Sometimes I experince that the time is not correct and is older, like there is some kind of delay. I though I could use it to see how long certain commands take (grunt..). How can that be? –  Kevin Simper Mar 19 at 15:12

Instead of adding the date to the prompt itself, you could add the date just before your prompt by placing the following line at the top of your .bashrc. For it work you will also need to install cowsay. It's a fun way of displaying the date while keeping a short prompt:

cowsay "Welcome $USER! It's now $(date '+%A %B %d %Y %r')"

In its current form it will work on anyone's system without amendment as it reads the $USER and the date variable from the current environment.

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export PROMPT_COMMAND=date

prints the date before issuing each prompt.

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