Ubuntu – How to shorten the command line (bash) prompt

bashbashrccommand linepromptps1

Currently it is:


Outside of renaming my machine and directory structure…

How could I make it be something more like:


Best Answer

  • To change it for the current terminal instance only

    Just enter PS1='\u:\W\$ ' and press enter.

    To change it "permanently"

    In your ~/.bashrc, find the following section:

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

    Remove the @\h, and replace the \w with an uppercase \W, so that it becomes:

    if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then
        PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\W\[\033[00m\]\$ '
        PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u:\W\$ '

    Save, exit, close terminal and start another to see the result.

    Tons more options!

    • See here for a more extensive howto, with many more options
    • See this answer for using up a tiny Python script to set the prompt so that the shortening only occurs when you are deep in a directory structure.