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I've seen on a few screencasts a while back where someone had a lightning bolt instead of $ on the bash prompt.

Does anyone know how to do this?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 5 '10 at 14:12

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 9 down vote accepted

This page explains how to set your bash promt. As @ulidtko says, you can use as one example of a lightning bolt symbol. To set this, use:

export PS1=⚡

You will, however, lose everything else in the prompt you had before (not just the $). What you had before depends on your distribution. On my Ubuntu 10.10 setup it's \[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$ by default, which you can get by running echo $PS1. To use mine as an example, to just change the $ to a , run:

export PS1="\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w⚡ "

To make this change across all bash shells, add the above line to your ~/.bashrc file.

The result is like this:

marcog@minime:~⚡ echo hello world
hello world
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Ignacio's answer is right, but here is another symbol, which in my font looks better:

U+26A1 HIGH VOLTAGE SIGN ()

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There are a few lightning-bolt-like symbols in Unicode, among them is U+2607 LIGHTNING (), though anything approaching realistic would require a special font with an actual lightning bolt glyph.

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