I noticed whenever I source a file, the color of user@hostname changes:

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Because it loads the user setings specified in your /etc/bash.bashrc file. And the prompt settings may be different from your actual terminal context. For more details have a look at the other upvoted answers. :)

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This is because /etc/bash.bashrc sets a new value for your prompt:

# set a fancy prompt (non-color, overwrite the one in /etc/profile)
# but only if not SUDOing and have SUDO_PS1 set; then assume smart user.
if ! [ -n "${SUDO_USER}" -a -n "${SUDO_PS1}" ]; then
  PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$ '
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The appearance of the prompt (the user@host thing) is controlled by the variable PS1. Probably you have something like

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

in your ~/.bashrc file. The weird \[\033[00m\] etc. characters are used for colouring the prompt. \u is the username (h4ck3r), \h is the hostname (h4ck3rE780) and \w is the current working directory (~ which denotes your HOME directory).

When you source /etc/bash.bashrc then the variable PS1 gets set to some other value (without colours) and you get a different prompt. It's quite simple.


PS1='user=\u, host=\h, directory=\w $'

in a terminal window and see the result. Sourcing /etc/bash.bashrc doesn't do anything different (besides the actual parameters).

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