Colored prompt

How to show the Git branch in the Linux prompt

In pictures

How to go from this…

… to this?

Short answer

We will be changing your .bashrc file. It is located in your home.

  1. Make a save of your .bashrc file (one is never too careful; cp -p .bashrc .bashrc.sav).
  2. Optional step: make your prompt colored by uncommenting the highlighted line:

  1. Now locate the last line of the following excerpt and edit the previous lines accordingly to the following line:

  1. Restart your prompt, you’re done.

Something more detailed

I love Git command-line. It seems so much clearer than most (and less buggy than some) GUIs once you know how they work behind the scenes.

The installation comes with a Cygwin prompt. It is run inside the ugly Windows console, but still, it brings some color to it. And the current branch of the Git repository you’re in.

That’s why I was a bit disappointed when I installed it on my Ubuntu and discovered it did not display the branch without using git branch. And today, I was once more tricked because of it, so I hunted a solution.

And I found it on the web, customized to meet my preferences (which I recommend you do in turn). The sed part can be tuned (I added a space before the branch) and you can change the color.

Of course, you won’t have to see any change when you’re out of a repository.

Edit (2015-11-22): Alternative solution

You can also use liquidprompt to benefit from this feature and much more. Thanks to Jérémie for the tip!


Published by

Cyrille Chopelet

Programming addict, UX philosopher, casual gamer, sci-fi enthusiast, hi-tech dilettante, ... Some people even call me a geek.

4 thoughts on “How to show the Git branch in the Linux prompt”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.