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I can print my current working dir like this

myPrompt$ pwd

I want my shell to look like this

/Users/me/myDir$ pwd

Is that possible? How can I do it?

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On OS X the name of the file is .bash_profile not just .profile. That will autoload for you. – user81596 Aug 21 '14 at 21:54
Not quite. OSX starts login shells by default and that means that bash looks for ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bash_login, and ~/.profile, in that order, and reads and executes commands from the first one that exists and is readable. In any case, this is really a comment and not an answer so I am converting it to one. – terdon Aug 21 '14 at 22:03

You can use escape sequences in prompt variables.

Put this in your ~/.bashrc:

PS1='\w\$ '
share|improve this answer
thanks. I made that change. Now I see: Abrams-MacBook-Air-3:tmp abramhandler$ pwd; /Users/abramhandler/tmp Abrams-MacBook-Air-3:tmp abramhandler$ .... I want to only show the part that says "tmp" for my prompt. How do I hide the rest? I want to hide the "abramhandler" and "Abram's-MacBook-Air-3" parts – bernie2436 Nov 13 '13 at 1:00
@akh2103 use \W instead of \w. See the link Gilles gave you for a (short) explanation of the escape codes. – terdon Nov 13 '13 at 1:00
@terdon I see the same thing with \W and \w. I am running Unix on OSX. – bernie2436 Nov 13 '13 at 1:03
@akh2103 if you are running OSX and using the terminal app, you should make changes to ~/.profile not .bashrc since terminal runs a login shell by default. You should also source ~/.profile or open a new terminal for the changes to take effect. Also, please edit to add more information, I can't understand what you are asking for from your last comment. – terdon Nov 13 '13 at 1:11
@terdon when I run source ~/.profile it changes the path properly in the current terminal. But when I open a new terminal then I still see "abram's mac book air" etc. I tried adding source ~/.profile to both the .profile and .bashrc files but still no luck. Any ideas? – bernie2436 Nov 13 '13 at 1:14

Here's a one-liner for OSX. It appends the prompt you want into the profile file and then reloads the profile.

echo "PS1='\w\$ '" >> ~/.bash_profile; source ~/.bash_profile

On El Capitan you'll want to use

echo "PS1='\w\$ '" >> ~/.profile; source ~/.profile
share|improve this answer

Looks like an old thread but the steps below worked for me on OS X 10.9.5

  • put PS1='\w\$ ' in ~/.profile
  • if you made any changes in ~/.bashrc remove them
  • close the terminal with cmd+q
  • reopen the terminal
share|improve this answer
In my case the complete PATH is really big so I have added one more flag for next line like PS1='\w\n\$ ' – victor Oct 4 '15 at 17:58

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