I'm somewhat new to Bash prompts, but I was finally able to get things somewhat working. However, I have a strange character at the beginning of my prompt:

Screenshot of prompt

Here's my actual PS1 prompt:

PS1='\[\e]2;\u@\h\a${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[01;34m\] \w \$\[\033[00m\] '

Can anyone spot the problem? What am I doing wrong here?

  • 1
    Be wary of strange characters lurking around your prompts.
    – Keith
    Jun 2, 2011 at 3:15

2 Answers 2


You're missing the last \] to end the title bar sequence. The result is that it's eating up some chars & displaying a weird character at the front.

try one of these:

  • \[\033]2; \u@\h \007\]
  • \[\e]0;\u@\h\a\]

The start of your prompt has a fragment in it: \[\e]2;\ that should probably be something more like: \[e[0;32m\] to set the colour green.

\[ begins a sequence of non-printing characters. \e is the ascii escape character and the colour green is 0;32m

There is an excellent break down of the elements of a coloured prompt on the Arch Wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Color_Bash_Prompt

  • Please see unix.stackexchange.com/q/14113/5614, here, I'm told that in order to set the window title, I need this escape sequence. What should I do? Jun 1, 2011 at 21:37
  • So you have two separate issues: the broken prompt and you want to set the terminal title. I'd fix the first - using the approach I have suggested above, and then that should allow you to achieve the second.
    – jasonwryan
    Jun 1, 2011 at 21:51

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