6.9 Controlling the Prompt
The value of the variable
PROMPT_COMMAND is examined just before
Bash prints each primary prompt. If
PROMPT_COMMAND is set and
has a non-null value, then the
value is executed just as if it had been typed on the command line.
In addition, the following table describes the special characters which
can appear in the prompt variables:
A bell character.
The date, in "Weekday Month Date" format (e.g., "Tue May 26").
The format is passed to
strftime(3) and the result is inserted
into the prompt string; an empty format results in a locale-specific
time representation. The braces are required.
An escape character.
The hostname, up to the first `.'.
The number of jobs currently managed by the shell.
The basename of the shell's terminal device name.
A carriage return.
The name of the shell, the basename of
$0 (the portion
following the final slash).
The time, in 24-hour HH:MM:SS format.
The time, in 12-hour HH:MM:SS format.
The time, in 12-hour am/pm format.
The time, in 24-hour HH:MM format.
The username of the current user.
The version of Bash (e.g., 2.00)
The release of Bash, version + patchlevel (e.g., 2.00.0)
The current working directory.
The basename of
The history number of this command.
The command number of this command.
If the effective uid is 0,
The character whose ASCII code is the octal value nnn.
Begin a sequence of non-printing characters. This could be used to
embed a terminal control sequence into the prompt.
End a sequence of non-printing characters.
The command number and the history number are usually different:
the history number of a command is its position in the history
list, which may include commands restored from the history file
(see section 9.1 Bash History Facilities), while the command number is
the position in the sequence of commands executed during the current
After the string is decoded, it is expanded via
parameter expansion, command substitution, arithmetic
expansion, and quote removal, subject to the value of the
promptvars shell option (see section 4.2 Bash Builtin Commands).