Is it possible to automatically add some characters at the end of each command typed in the terminal.

For example, if I write

sudo apt-get update

the shell will execute

sudo apt-get update && notify-send Done

without me writing the && notify-send Done part.

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    Not what you want but while waiting for a better solution you could use aliases. E.g. add the line alias ok='notify-send Done' to your ~.bashrc and then write your command like this: sudo apt-get update && ok - That also saves some typing and you can control whether you need a notification or not.
    – Byte Commander
    Jul 9, 2015 at 17:38
  • @ByteCommander Well yeah, I'll do that until I find better solution. Thanks!
    – ioanD
    Jul 9, 2015 at 17:39
  • 1
    or just && alert Jul 9, 2015 at 17:40
  • @SylvainPineau I like to be able to customise the output, so alert doesn't work for me
    – ioanD
    Jul 9, 2015 at 17:41
  • It's vague to me..is the part after && (including) always going to change? Can it be empty? What about the first command ? Do you just want to type the first part or a shortcut of second part? Will the first command be changed?
    – heemayl
    Jul 9, 2015 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


If you're using bash as your default shell, you can set PROMPT_COMMAND.

From the bash man page:

If set, the value is executed as a command prior to issuing each primary prompt.

So just paste the following line in your .bashrc to get a notification for each command:

PROMPT_COMMAND="notify-send Done"

So each time your bash prompt is called (normal behavior when a command is finished, with success or not), you'll get a notification.

Note: you'll be also notified if you press just Enter as the prompt will be displayed again.

  • 1
    For the after case, trap "notify-send Done" DEBUG might be more appropriate.
    – muru
    Jul 9, 2015 at 18:05
  • @muru thanks for the suggestion but tested with sleep 3, the notification does not wait 3s. Jul 9, 2015 at 18:24

You can bind some characters to to an enter key:

$ bind '"\C-M":" && echo test\n"'

This has some drawbacks, for example if you just press Enter:

-bash: syntax error near unexpected token `&&'

You can block this effect by terminating your lines with # character - it will turn appended text into a harmless comment.

Still I'd say that this sounds like a really bad idea.

  • I wanted to play around with this, but so far I haven't found the syntax to unset it after I'm done. I was thinking there must be some placeholder like : which would get rid of the syntax error. Still, it begs the question as to why anyone would want to do this for every command. Something more focused/selective would probably be a lot more useful.
    – Joe
    Jul 16, 2015 at 0:37
  • @Joe, use bind '"\C-M":"\n"' # to unset this. The trailing hash in the command makes the appended text a comment thus disabling its effect, just as I wrote in the answer.
    – Nykakin
    Jul 16, 2015 at 7:16

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