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I have several servers that have the same prefix in their name: mail.servername. When I have several sessions open (I use PuTTY from Windows 7), it is a minor PITA to figure out which one is which since PuTTY names the windows user@mail and the command line displays user@mail:~$ for all of them.

Is there a way to have the full server name displayed? I don't have the option of changing the servers' names.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Think what you are looking for for changing the PuTTY window title is this: PuTTY allows the server to send xterm control sequences which modify the title of the window in mid-session. From the putty manual.

How to actually do it, point your favorite text editor to ~/.bashrc Locate the lines that say:

case "$TERM" in
    PS1="\[\e]0;${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h: \w\a\]$PS1"

Then change:

PS1='\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$'


PS1='\[\e]0;\u@YOUR MODIFIED TINGY: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$'

Save and be happy. If you wanna test it before doing the final change, use export PS1='all the stuff'

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This worked, but I changed the ' to " from your example (which you actually used in the first code block). Also, I just want to confirm that the line is supposed to end with $ - I am suspicious whenever I see that as I worry it is from a copy & past out of a session, indicating the line goes beyond the window. – Paul Nov 27 '13 at 1:10
@Paul you shouldn't need to replace the single quote by a double one although that doesn't make a difference in that case. The last $ is the standard non root user prompt, you should replace it by # if you are root. Usually, a space is following it for better readability but is missing here. – jlliagre Nov 27 '13 at 1:38
Thanks! I assume if I make the same change in /root/.bashrc the display will remain the same for root sessions? – Paul Nov 27 '13 at 3:02

Use this command

printf "\033]2;%s\a" $(</etc/hostname)

to have the server name displayed in the Putty window title bar.

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/etc/hostname is the fqdn, which is reduced to mail. Pasting your command into a session does not seem to change anything. – Paul Nov 27 '13 at 0:16
Answer updated to use /etc/hostname instead of the hostname command – jlliagre Nov 27 '13 at 0:48
I tried using /etc/hostname and still nothing. The answer from Anders F. U. Kiær provides a more permanent solution and worked on the first try, but thank you for your response. – Paul Nov 27 '13 at 1:07
Are you sure the /etc/hostname file contains mail.servername and not just mail ? You can of course put this line in .bashrc for the name to be set automatically. – jlliagre Nov 27 '13 at 1:28
Yes, I checked before posting the comment (I'm just like that). – Paul Nov 27 '13 at 1:47

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