Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am using bash, and in my .basrhrc: I have the following which defined how my prompt looks:

PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\w\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\!:\#\[\033[00m\]\$ '

I think the \w display the current path of the shell.

Is there any way to limit the number of character used to display the current path of the shell?

share|improve this question
possible duplicate:… – quack quixote Mar 30 '10 at 3:14
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use \W (capital "W") which will make your home directory (/home/username) display as a tilde ('~') and only show the basename of the current directory. So an example might look like:

dir:509:9$ pwd
dir:510:10$ cd ..

If you're using Bash 4, you can set the PROMPT_DIRTRIM shell variable to a number of trailing directory levels to display. But there was a bug in it which was fixed in a maintenance release (4.1, I think).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.