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7. Setting Your Shell Prompt

7.1 Why Change Your Prompt?

A percent sign ( % ) is the default C shell prompt on many systems. Not too useful, is it? All that prompt tells you is that you're logged in.

If you're good at remembering your current directory name, the computer you're logged in to, your current login name, and more - and, if you never leave your terminal for long - maybe that prompt is enough.

But I forget that kind of stuff. I log in quite a few places and I get interrupted a lot. Without more information in my prompt, I'd always be trying to figure out where I am - typing pwd or who am I .

I've changed my prompt to give me the information I need. My prompt can't do everything I want (at least, not on the C shell), but it makes life a lot easier.

Besides, playing around with your prompt can be fun . It's one of the most popular UNIX games, especially for newcomers.

This chapter should get you started. The first few articles cover basics. The rest of the articles show some different prompts and how to make them. Play around. See what works best for you.

- JP


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