13 May 2014

576. Shortening the bash prompt in debian

This is yet another post in which I'm (almost) simply reposting a solution that someone else has already posted online.

Let's say that my contribution is to put it in context of debian.

Either way, here's the problem that needed solving: the debian prompt by default lists all directories, which sometimes means that the prompt itself breaks across two lines.

Luckily, it's not difficult to chop the prompt down to a more manageable, yet still informative, length. The solution is here (we do like a descriptive URL): http://superuser.com/questions/387673/how-can-i-limit-the-number-of-directories-in-my-prompt

That particular solution also allows you to change the permissible length of the path that will be shown -- change the 50 in the argument to droppath to set the number of chars.

Edit your ~/.bashrc and add the bits in red:
# drops first portion of a path $1 if length is greater than $2 function __droppath { if [[ ${#1} -gt $2 ]]; then p=$1 while [ ${#p} -gt $2 ]; do p="/"$(echo "$p"|cut -d"/" -f3-) done echo "..."$p else echo $1 fi } if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]$(_droppath "\w" 50)\[\033[00m\]\$ ' else PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h: $(__droppath "\w" 50)\$ ' fi

and here's an example using a length of 25 chars (which is a bit short).

me@niobium: /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages$\

me@niobium: .../python2.7/site-packages$

You can always use pwd to figure out what the full path is if necessary:
me@niobium: .../python2.7/site-packages$ pwd

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