Between the various parameters that can be included in the bash PS1 variable, \w expands

the current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde (uses the value of the PROMPT_DIRTRIM variable)

as stated in the Bash manual.

My $HOME is set to /home/myuser/ (the same value specified in /etc/passwd), but the expansion of \w in PS1 gives /home/myuser when I am in the $HOME directory. So, it is not «abbreviated with a tilde».

I am Using Ubuntu 16.04 with GNU bash, version 4.3.48(1)-release (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu).

What's wrong? What is the source from where \w actually copies the path of the current directory?

  • Do cd once to see if that helps. Also, is your home directory set to /home/myuser/, with a slash at the end, in /etc/passwd? – Kusalananda May 22 '17 at 21:27
  • @Kusalananda cd didn't have effect. As I wrote in the question, my home directory was /home/myuser/ with a slash in the end, also in /etc/passwd. – BowPark May 24 '17 at 14:53

The trailing / in /home/myuser/ is confusing bash. I think you'll see normal behavior if you remove it.

That slash isn't part of the directory name; it's a path separator. It shouldn't be in /etc/passwd, and it shouldn't be in $HOME.

You can test that theory without touching a file using just:


after which the tilde should appear in your prompt.

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