Open a prompt, try to do this:

  • type this code: export PS1="\e[1;30m-30-\e[m >"
  • copy it with your mouse (select the code + copy it (I have auto-copy when I select with the mouse enabled))
  • close the prompt
  • open a brand new prompt
  • immediately paste it (SHIFT INS)
  • type "HOME" key and "END" key, you'll see the cursor go to logical positions (start and end of the code)
  • now press ENTER
  • you prompt changes the colors
  • immediately paste it (SHIFT INS)
  • type "HOME" key and "END" key, you'll see the cursor go to illogical positions (offset problem)

This means if I apply colors to the prompt I can't copy/paste + change my copied code...

NB: I'm asking it here because I thought it was a problem of wsltty here but it seems it's only related to what I'm trying to assign: export PS1="\e[1;30m-30-\e[m >"... and I dont see a problem. It should just change the colors of the prompt (and that's what it does actually). But it seems it does something more I dont see. Does somebody know what it could be?


You need to enclose escape sequences in pairs of \[ and \] or you'll have that offset problem.

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  • May I ask you to add in your answer the working version of export PS1="\e[1;30m-30-\e[m >" so I can make the link? Thank you very much – Olivier Pons Oct 29 '18 at 13:02

user1274247 is right, you need to enclose escape sequences.

Here's what my PS1 looks like.

\[\033]0;\u@\h:\w\007\]\[\033[01;31m\]\h\[\033[01;34m\] \w \$\[\033[00m\]
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