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I want to setup a time prompt on PS1. But, there is no document about what are symbols the busybox support.

Is there any one know? Here are all which I knew.

PS1='\u@\h: \w \$'
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

BusyBox has two shells, ash and hush. To see which one you have, run type chdir: ash has it as a builtin (synonymous with cd), hush doesn't. Both have an optional prompt expansion feature. Ash's is enabled by activating the ASH_EXPAND_PRMT feature at compile time, while hush requires FEATURE_EDITING_FANCY_PROMPT.

When that feature is present, in ash the value of PS1 is expanded like a double-quoted string: $foo, $(command) and `command` constructs are expanded.

Some backslash escapes are processed (in ash, after substitutions). They are a subset of bash's.

  • \!: line history count
  • \a: bell
  • \b: backspace
  • \e, \E: escape
  • \f: form feed
  • \h: host name
  • \n: newline
  • \r: carriage return
  • \t: tab
  • \u: user name (only with FEATURE_GETUSERNAME_AND_HOMEDIR)
  • \v: vertical tab
  • \w: current directory, with ~ for the home directory (only with FEATURE_GETUSERNAME_AND_HOMEDIR)
  • \W: current directory (unabbreviated)
  • \xHH or \XHH where HH are two hexadecimal digits: a character given by its hex code
  • \[…\]: the enclosed text doesn't count for width calculation purposes

(If you're looking at the source code, this happens in parse_and_put_prompt in libbb/lineedit.c.)

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Is there any way to fake this, maybe with printf, if it wasnt compiled in? – Steven Penny Feb 19 at 1:42
@StevenPenny To fake what? Backslash expansions can be faked with variable and command substitutions, but I think they're both enabled or disabled together. If they're absent, I don't think you can have a variable prompt, except by changing the value of PS1. – Gilles Feb 19 at 8:42

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