How to suppress (or customize) Mac Terminal shell prompt

The prompt is defined by the environment variable PS1 which you can define in .bash_profile.

To edit it, open or create the (hidden) file .bash_profile:

nano .bash_profile

and add a line that says

export PS1=""

Between the quotation marks, you can insert what you would like as your terminal prompt. You can also use variables there:

  • \d – date
  • \t – time
  • \h – hostname
  • \# – command number
  • \u – username
  • \W – current directory (e.g.: Desktop)
  • \w – current directory path (e.g.: /Users/Admin/Desktop)

The default prompt for common Linux distributions would be \w $, which evaluates to ~ $ in your home directory or e.g. /Users $ somewhere else. There are also website (like this one) that can help you with building your prompt.

If you want to remove the UserName part, your choice would be \h: \w$.

Once you made your changes, save the file with Control+o, Return, Control+x.

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