Changing colors for user, host, directory information in terminal command prompt

  • Is it possible to change the colors in the command prompt for the [email protected], as well as the the current directory and command parts of the prompt display?

    I've already seen something like this done by OSX users, but I don't know how to do the same thing in gnome terminal (I can only change foreground and background colors).

    It'd be very useful when, for example, trying to compile programs that have errors, since long, unformatted messages make it hard to distinguish which lines are commands and which are output.

    Colors in osx terminal

    You're looking for `bash` settings (or settings for your preferred shell), not Gnome Terminal.

  • desgua

    desgua Correct answer

    8 years ago

    You can edit the settings editing the file: ~/.bashrc.

    1. Open the file: gedit ~/.bashrc.

    2. Look for the line with #force_color_prompt=yes and uncomment (delete the #).

    3. Look for the line below if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then that should looks like:

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

      Pay attention at the part \[email protected]\h it is saying "[email protected]" and the number before it \[\033[01;32m\] indicates the color. This is what you have to change. For example, lets change the user to purple, the "@" to black and host to green. Edit the line so it looks like:

      PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;35m\]\u\[\033[01;30m\]@\[\033[01;32m\]\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '
      

    Result:
    enter image description here

    The colors numbers are:

    Black       0;30     Dark Gray     1;30
    Blue        0;34     Light Blue    1;34
    Green       0;32     Light Green   1;32
    Cyan        0;36     Light Cyan    1;36
    Red         0;31     Light Red     1;31
    Purple      0;35     Light Purple  1;35
    Brown       0;33     Yellow        1;33
    Light Gray  0;37     White         1;37
    

    References: 1, 2.

    I'm glad it work. Welcome.

    It is also worth mentioning that you should not change the color `Palette` from the Terminal's `Preferences` prior to trying this, as it will cause a lot of confusion with the color codes.

    But how can we make a particular string to show up in particular color? Like say there is a error message which gets printed in a specific format, which i want to see it in red color. OR In GDB, when i see a message like - "warning: Source file is more recent than executable.", i want this to be displayed in red color. How can this be achieved?

  • You can try the BashrcGenerator. This is by far the easiest way to get a prompt like you want. I've noticed that the colors defined here may be different from your own system, but that's a small issue. With the generated code you can change the colors yourself.

    Server user:

    export PS1="\[\e[01;37m\][\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;32m\]\u\[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\]@\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;34m\]\h\[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\] \[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\]\t\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;37m\] \W]\\$ \[\e[0m\]"
    

    Server root:

    export PS1="\[\e[01;37m\][\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;31m\]\u\[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\]@\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;34m\]\h\[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\] \[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\]\t\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;37m\] \W]\\$ \[\e[0m\]"
    

    And if needed you can change hostname color to reflect different type of servers.

    I use different format for my local computer:

    export PS1="\[\e[01;33m\]\u\[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\]@\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;36m\]\h\[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\] \t \[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;35m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;37m\] > \[\e[0m\]"
    

    My favorite now:

    export PS1="\n\[\e[01;33m\]\u\[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\]@\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;36m\]\h\[\e[0m\]\[\e[00;37m\] \t \[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;35m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\[\e[01;37m\] \[\e[0m\]\n$ "
    

    This last prompt has one nice touch. It adds a newline after the prompt, and an empty newline before. Now you can display the complete directory path without problem, and it makes it more clear where a new command starts, in case of long output.


    Another update, as ZSH is now the default shell on Macos. This is to be edited in .zshrc:

    NEWLINE=$'\n'
    DATE=$( date +"[%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S]" )
    PROMPT="${NEWLINE}%F{yellow}${DATE} %(!.%F{red}.%F{white})%n%F{cyan}@%m %F{yellow}%d${NEWLINE}%F{reset}> "
    

    PS1 generator: +1 :D

    really really liked the last one, I was worried because the user name and the path took to me a lot of space, with the last option you can get the whole screen

    This worked great! however, how can I do this for specific hosts? i.e. set a specific color scheme when I ssh into a production server for example? do I have to do it "manually" with if-fi blocks in .bashrc? or is there a more elegant way?

    On each host you login, have a personal .bashrc file for that remote user, and can change it. If you become root, that has its own settings, which will be seen by other users if they become root.

  • For details, see this detailed HOWTO.

    In short, you can alter the prompt by editing the $PS1 environment variable. There's so much to say here, that I'll just show you my prompt and refer you to the link above for more details.

    The color-related parts are in the function setPrompt:

    # This function from: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Color_Bash_Prompt_%28%D0%A0%D1%83%D1%81%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9%29#Wolfman.27s
    ##################################################
    # Fancy PWD display function
    ##################################################
    # The home directory (HOME) is replaced with a ~
    # The last pwdmaxlen characters of the PWD are displayed
    # Leading partial directory names are striped off
    # /home/me/stuff          -> ~/stuff               if USER=me
    # /usr/share/big_dir_name -> ../share/big_dir_name if pwdmaxlen=20
    ##################################################
    bash_prompt_shortener() {
        # How many characters of the $PWD should be kept
        local pwdmaxlen=25
        # Indicate that there has been dir truncation
        local trunc_symbol=".."
        local dir=${PWD##*/}
        pwdmaxlen=$(( ( pwdmaxlen < ${#dir} ) ? ${#dir} : pwdmaxlen ))
        NEW_PWD=${PWD/#$HOME/\~}
        local pwdoffset=$(( ${#NEW_PWD} - pwdmaxlen ))
        if [ ${pwdoffset} -gt "0" ]
        then
            NEW_PWD=${NEW_PWD:$pwdoffset:$pwdmaxlen}
            NEW_PWD=${trunc_symbol}/${NEW_PWD#*/}
        fi
    }
    
    
    function setPrompt {
      COLOR1="\[\033[1;33m\]"     #First color
      COLOR2="\[\033[0;33m\]"     #Second color
      NO_COLOR="\[\033[0m\]"      #Transparent - don't change
    
      case $TERM in 
        xterm*)
          TITLEBAR="\[\033]0;\h - \w\007\]"
          ;;
        *)
          TITLEBAR=""
          ;;
      esac
    
      local dash_open="${COLOR1}-${COLOR2}-"
      local dash_close="${COLOR2}-${COLOR1}-"
      local spacer="${COLOR2}-"
      local jobs_and_history="${COLOR2}(${COLOR1}\!${COLOR2}:${COLOR1}\j${COLOR2})"
      local user_host="${COLOR2}(${COLOR1}\u${COLOR2}@${COLOR1}\H${COLOR2})"
      local host="${COLOR2}(${COLOR1}\H${COLOR2})"
      local root_or_not="${COLOR2}(${COLOR1}\\\$${COLOR2})"
      local cwd="${COLOR2}(${COLOR1}\w${COLOR2})"
      #PS1="${TITLEBAR}${COLOR1}-${COLOR2}-(${COLOR1}\!${COLOR2}:${COLOR1}\j${COLOR2})-(${COLOR1}\w${COLOR2})-${COLOR1}-\n-${COLOR2}-(${COLOR1}\u${COLOR2}@${COLOR1}\H${COLOR2})-(${COLOR1}\\\$${COLOR2})-${COLOR1}- ${NO_COLOR}"
      #PS1="${TITLEBAR}${dash_open}${cwd}${spacer}${root_or_not}${dash_close}\n${dash_open}${jobs_and_history}${spacer}${host}${dash_close}${NO_COLOR} "
      #PS2="${COLOR2}--${COLOR1}- ${NO_COLOR}"
      PS1="${TITLEBAR}${COLOR1}"'${NEW_PWD}'"${COLOR2}:\$${NO_COLOR} "
      PS2="$spacer$dash_close$NO_COLOR "
    }
    
    bash_prompt_shortener
    setPrompt
    unset setPrompt
    
    #Determine and display the exit Status of the last command, if non-zero.
    function checkExitStatus() {
      local status="$?"
      local signal=""
      local COLOR1="\033[0;0;33m"     #First color
      local COLOR2="\033[0;0;36m"     #Second color
      local NO_COLOR="\033[0m"        #Transparent - don't change
    
      if [ ${status} -ne 0 -a ${status} != 128 ]; then
        # If process exited by a signal, determine name of signal.
        if [ ${status} -gt 128 ]; then
          signal="$(builtin kill -l $((${status} - 128)) 2>/dev/null)"
          if [ "$signal" ]; then
            signal="$signal"
          fi
        fi
        echo -e "${COLOR1}[Exit ${COLOR2}${status} ${signal}${COLOR1}]${NO_COLOR}" 1>&2
        #echo -ne "${COLOR1}[Exit ${COLOR2}${status}${COLOR1} ${COLOR2}${signal}${COLOR1}]${NO_COLOR} " 1>&2
        fi
      return 0
    }
    print_prompt_time() {
        printf "%*s\r" $(tput cols) "$(date '+%T')"
    }
    
    promptCmd() {
        checkExitStatus
        print_prompt_time
    }
    
    PROMPT_COMMAND=promptCmd
    

    In addition to colors, my prompt has a few other features, such as abbreviated directory names (see the function bash_prompt_shortener), automatic display of the last command's exit status if nonzero (function checkExitStatus), and display of the time in the rightmost columns (function print_prompt_time).

    Thanks for sharing your custom functions :) Is it only with me that the timestamp disappears when I press backspace?

    Nope. Me too. There's some bug that I didn't judge important enough to try to fix.

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution


Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM