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I got myself a .bashrc file off the net. I checked it beforehand, didn't detect anything bad about it.

One thing that's odd about it, is that several spaces are added to the terminal command line.


alt text Those spaces are not put there by me.

The file can be found here:

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well, show us your $PROMPT – akira Sep 3 '10 at 7:57
@akira: unbound variable – KdgDev Sep 3 '10 at 18:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

When the prompt contains non-printing characters, they must be surrounded by \[…\]. Otherwise bash counts these characters as part of the width of the prompt.

The prompt settings are missing several instances of \[…\]. Here are the ones I've found after a cursory glance:

function fastprompt()
    case $TERM in
        *term | rxvt )
            PS1="\[${HILIT}\][\h]\[$NC\] \W > \[\033]0;\${TERM} [\u@\h] \w\007\]" ;;
        linux )
            PS1="\[${HILIT}\][\h]\[$NC\] \W > " ;;
            PS1="[\h] \W > " ;;

function powerprompt()

    case $TERM in
        *term | rxvt  )
            PS1="\[${HILIT}\][\A - \$LOAD]\[$NC\]\n[\u@\h \#] \W > \
                 \[\033]0;\${TERM} [\u@\h] \w\007\]" ;;
        linux )
            PS1="\[${HILIT}\][\A - \$LOAD]\[$NC\]\n[\u@\h \#] \W > " ;;
        * )
            PS1="[\A - \$LOAD]\n[\u@\h \#] \W > " ;;
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Take a look at the function powerprompt.

If you have copied and pasted it into your .bashrc, you may have gotten spaces at the beginning of the lines ending with \ (backslash).

(Can you post your real .bashrc somewhere instead)? Or try: echo \"$PS1\"

(EDIT: Of course I mean "at the beginning of the lines following the lines ending with \.)

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Try taking out the code that is in the

# Shell Prompt

section of the .bashrc file. This looks to be the area that controls the appearance of the prompt.

What does your prompt look like now? If you don't notice a change, make sure you start a new Terminal window.

Beyond the .bashrc file in your home directory, there are system-wide configurations in the /etc/ folder. They are usually found in /etc/bashrc or /etc/bash_profile (note they are not hidden, no prepended .) depending on the flavour of Linux your are using.

Also - do you have any other .bash_profile or .profile like files in your home directory which might also be acting to configure the prompt?

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