[Bash] Customizing the Bash Prompt

Customizing your terminal

PS1="[\u @ \h] \w > "

in the bash profile will output this:

[aamnah @ Serenity] ~/Sandbox/aamnah.com >
  • \u is your username which in my case is aamnah;
  • \h is the hostname (the name of your machine) which is Serenity
  • \w is the working directory which in my case is ~/Sandbox/aamnah.com

You can add or remove variables to customize what it shows in the terminal. For example, i don’t want to see the username and hostname, because i already know what they are on my machine.

If i were to ever wonder which user it is i can always use the whoami command to show which user it is. If i were to wonder about the hostname i can easily view that by typing hostname.

So i only show the working path which is the most important. Like this:

PS1="\w > "

which displays like this:

~/Sandbox/aamnah.com > 

To reload the bash profile without quiting and re-opening the terminal run source ~/.bash_profile, or a simpler exec bash command.