I want to change the colours in my Terminal and a cursory Google search shows me to right click in terminal and go to properties, etc.

So I managed to change my background, and the text, but I was wondering if I can have what I type be one colour and the system prompts be a different colour?

Ubuntu 14.04. Running it as a VM on a host Windows 7.

1 Answer 1


For changing the background (and text) colours, you simply go to profile preferences and set it there:

For the prompt itself, this is set in the prompt itself, this is more complex. This is set from the ~/.bashrc hidden file (or another similar file), probably using a line like this (it will begin with PS1):

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

The colour in the prompt is set using escape codes (if the terminal being used supports it)- so basically each bit of \033[Nm sets the format for the following text, depending on what N (N can be multiple things separated by ; BTW).

For the basic colours, you can use the simple numeric codes listed here: enter image description here
1 Makes stuff bold, 0 resets - multiple things can be used as well - e.g:

echo -e "\033[1;32mExample\033[0m"

Otherwise you can set your own colour (probably limited support):

echo -e "\033[38;2;240;115;0mOrange\033[0m"

So you can fairly easily edit the PS1 line to suit (and test it with echo -e ...). I recently did this with various colours for different machines so I could use multiple terminals without typing the right command into the wrong computer...

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