When working with the terminal, the prompt often displays the current working directory. However, there might be situations where you want to hide this information. This guide will walk you through the process of hiding the current working directory in the terminal using Bash. We’ll cover different methods, explaining each step in detail.
To hide the current working directory in the terminal using Bash, you have a few options. You can set the
PS1 variable to a simple symbol, customize it with colors and other information, or shorten the path of the current working directory. These changes can be made temporarily for the current session or permanently by adding them to the
Understanding the Bash Prompt
Before we dive into the process, let’s understand what we’re dealing with. The Bash prompt is controlled by a special shell variable called
PS1. By default,
PS1 is set to display the username, hostname, and current working directory.
Hiding the Current Working Directory
Method 1: Setting the Prompt to a Simple Symbol
The simplest way to hide the current working directory is by setting the
PS1 variable to a simple symbol, like
>. Here’s how you can do this:
export PS1='> '
In this command,
export is used to define an environment variable.
PS1 is the variable we’re defining, and
'> ' is the value we’re assigning to it. After running this command, your prompt will simply display a
Method 2: Customizing the Prompt with Colors and Other Information
If you want a more colorful and informative prompt, you can customize
PS1 with various escape sequences:
export PS1='\[\033[0;35m\]\h\[\033[0;33m\] \w\[\033[00m\]: '
In this command,
\[\033[0;33m\] are escape sequences that set the color of the text.
\h displays the hostname, and
\w displays the current working directory.
\[\033[00m\] resets the color. The final
: is just a literal character that gets displayed.
Method 3: Shortening the Current Working Directory Path
Another way to hide the current working directory is by shortening its path. You can do this by setting the
This command trims the current working directory path to just the last directory name.
PROMPT_DIRTRIM is the variable we’re defining, and
1 is the value we’re assigning to it.
Making the Changes Permanent
The changes we’ve made so far will only persist for the current session. If you want them to persist between logins, you need to add the
export command to your
echo "export PS1='> '" >> ~/.bashrc
This command uses
echo to print the string, and
>> to append it to the
~/.bashrc file. After adding this line, you need to source the file or restart your terminal for the changes to take effect.
Hiding the current working directory in the terminal can be done in a few different ways, depending on your needs. Whether you want a simple prompt, a colorful and informative one, or a shortened path, Bash gives you the flexibility to customize your prompt as you see fit. Remember to add your changes to the
~/.bashrc file if you want them to persist between logins.
To undo the changes and restore the default prompt, you can either close the terminal and open a new one, or run the following command:
export PS1='\u@\h:\w\$ '
This command sets the
PS1 variable back to its default value, which includes the username, hostname, and current working directory.
Yes, you can customize the prompt differently for different users by adding conditional statements in the
~/.bashrc file. For example, you can use the
if statement to check the username and apply different prompt configurations based on the result. Here’s an example:
if [[ $USER == "user1" ]]; then export PS1='\[\033[0;35m\]\h\[\033[0;33m\] \w\[\033[00m\]: ' elif [[ $USER == "user2" ]]; then export PS1='\[\033[0;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[0;33m\] \w\[\033[00m\]: ' else export PS1='\u@\h:\w\$ ' fi
This example sets a different prompt configuration for
user2, while falling back to the default prompt for other users. You can modify the conditions and prompt configurations according to your needs.
To change the color of the prompt, you can modify the escape sequences in the
PS1 variable. The escape sequences are responsible for setting the color of the text. Here’s an example that sets the prompt to green:
export PS1='\[\033[0;32m\]\u@\h:\w\$\[\033[00m\] '
In this example,
\[\033[0;32m\] sets the text color to green, and
\[\033[00m\] resets the color back to the default. You can customize the color by modifying the escape sequences according to your preference.