The default prompt will be

root@monu dev]#

Can we change the "root@monu" part and give it a desired name?


This is changed by changing the environment variable PS1.

You can see the current value of PS1 by:

root@monu dev# echo $PS1

You can see the value to be equal to \u@\h \w\$, where:

  • \u : username
  • \h : hostname
  • \w : current working directory
  • \$ : a # symbol for the root user, a $ symbol for other users

If you want the change to be permanent, you have to add the script changing the value of PS1 in ~/.bashrc, since that it gets executed every time a user logs in.

  • 1
    Don't forget to put it into your ~/.bashrc file also. e.g. `PS1="myname \\$ "'. – Keith Apr 5 '12 at 6:55
  • 5
    ~/.bashrc is not executed every time a user logs in. “When an interactive shell that is not a login shell is started, bash reads and executes commands from ~/.bashrc, if that file exists.” – man bash /INVOCATION – manatwork Apr 5 '12 at 7:39
  • By changing them, you can change.? – tshepang Apr 6 '12 at 23:44
  • For details, see the PROMPTING section with man bash. – user22304 Sep 23 '12 at 10:30
  • Yes, but how exactly? Can you provide some examples? – Peter Mortensen Apr 2 '19 at 1:19

This depends on your shell. As an important side note, you should never use the root account as a personal account. Create a normal user and set up access to sudo. Please check your distribution manual as to how to do this.

In zsh, you need to set the PROMPT variable like so:

PROMPT='%{ESC[38;5;24m%};%{ESC[0m%} '

zshell offers a lot of other options and this is really a minimal prompt.

In bash, you can set it this way:

local ROOK="\[\033[38;5;24m\]"
local DEFAULT="\[\033[0;39m\]"
PS1="${ROOK}\$${DEFAULT} "

Note that in both cases, I have a 256 colour enabled terminal. The man page will help a lot (man bash or man zsh).

  • 2
    Here, you stated the root account case correctly, IMO - it is not to be used as a personal account (except on some very low-footprint embedded systems). – rozcietrzewiacz Apr 5 '12 at 8:46

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