This is my PS1 prompt:

export PS1="\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;35m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ "

That shows perfect in remote (SSH) console (PTS):


Can not show it, but the full prompt is in violet color.
The problem is: in local (TTY), it shows some ugly:

;luis@Chomsky: ~luis@Chomsky:~$

Can not show it neither, but the first part (from ";" to "~") has no color, and the rest is in violet color.

Additional data:  
  • Using Bash Shell:

luis@Chomsky:~$ ps -p$$ -ocmd= -bash

  • Tested in Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server v14.04 LTS.
  • Tested (at least) in a portable ASUS EEE PC and on VirtualBox virtual machine.
  • I use to add the export PS1= line at ~/.bashrc.

I would like to know why is this happening and how could I solve it.


  • What shell are you using? Are both machines using the same one? How/where are you setting PS1? – terdon Nov 9 '14 at 2:26
  • @terdon, added the requested info to the original post. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Nov 9 '14 at 2:47
  • Are you doing anything to PS1 in ~/.profile? – terdon Nov 9 '14 at 2:55
  • @terdon, the command cat ~/.profile | grep "ps1" -i shows no results, so I think not. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Nov 9 '14 at 2:56

The control sequence \e]0;TITLE\a is recognized by many terminal emulators; it sets the window title. This control sequence is not recognized by the Linux console (which doesn't have a title anyway): it sees \e]0, decides “I don't know what this means, so I'll ignore it”, and prints the following text.

You'll need to set your prompt differently depending on the current terminal.

title_text='\u@\h: \w'
case $TERM in
  dtterm|rxvt|[Ek]term|*xterm) set_title='\[\e]0;'"$title_text"'\a\]';;
  screen) set_title='\[\ek'"$title_text"'\e\\\]';;
  • Well, it is rather complicated, but I have pasted it to a .sh script, executed, and nothing seems to have changed. At least my prompt keeps the same. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Nov 9 '14 at 4:26
  • @SopalajodeArrierez Did you run this in a separate script? That won't work: the script doesn't influence its parent shell. You need to run this inside bash. This code is meant to go into your .bashrc. Since I add the title-setting code to what's already there, this should replace the existing part that adds the title-setting code. – Gilles Nov 9 '14 at 4:37
  • Tested in both ways. Even on ~/.bashrc nothing seems to have changed. I put your script right after my export PS1= line. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Nov 9 '14 at 5:21
  • @SopalajodeArrierez Put set -x before the snippet and set +x after, and tell me what is printed when you run bash (it'll start with + title_text='\u@\h: \w') as well as the resulting value of PS1 (edit your question or use pastebin.com or whatever you prefer). – Gilles Nov 9 '14 at 6:45
  • Here you have, thanks you: pastebin.com/ish0Epnu – Sopalajo de Arrierez Nov 9 '14 at 15:30

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