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In iTerm2 (Build, I typically open several tabs, each of which has split panes , and is about one particular theme of work, for example revision control, coding, managing files, mysql terminal work. I typically need to switch between 5 or more tabs in my work flow. It is sometimes hard to remember or tell which is which by looking at the content of the screen. I'd like to name the tabs somehow, so I can quickly tell which is which by quickly glancing. Is this possible?

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possible duplicate of Change iTerm2 window and tab titles in zsh – Daniel Beck May 2 '12 at 19:11
Not entirely duplicate. So how to add the currently running app as a part of tab title? I.e. which tab is running emacs, mysql, etc.? – qazwsx May 2 '12 at 19:16
I.e. all my tabs have same host and user. So using those won't differentiate my tabs. – qazwsx May 2 '12 at 19:27
You mean you want Show current job name from iTerm's preferences? Note that the linked topic isn't about username or host. – Daniel Beck May 2 '12 at 19:31
Right, I want to show some indication of what program is running or was run in each tabs. Also, the solution given in the other post doesn't work for Bash + iTerm2. – qazwsx May 2 '12 at 20:08
up vote 47 down vote accepted

Since you're using iterm2 on a mac, another option is you can just hit Cmd-I, type something, and hit Escape.

The terminal solution is a bit quicker than this, but just wanted to let you know.

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This works for a second until I issue a return on the tab that I have renamed. – Stewie Jan 29 '14 at 15:39
@Stewie In Preferences -> Profiles -> Terminal, uncheck "Allow terminal to report window title". – Max Cantor Apr 4 '14 at 13:19
It is unchecked. It still renames the title. – Stewie Apr 6 '14 at 1:05
@Stewie, please check "Allow terminal to report window title", so the title will not be renamed by shell – dan zen Oct 8 '14 at 1:49
@SteveBennett it's not the "theme" (actually the term is "profile") itself; the CMD+I command is "Edit Current Session..." (under the View menu), so it's just changing that tab's instance of the profile. Hitting Escape just closes the window, which is needed since that window doesn't have a "save" button on it. – MidnightLightning Aug 4 '15 at 13:39

run this command to set the title of your tab or window:

export PROMPT_COMMAND='echo -ne "\033]0;YOUR NAME HERE\007"'

i've added the following to my ~/.bash_profile to always list the current directory relative to my home dir:

export PROMPT_COMMAND='echo -ne "\033]0;${PWD/#$HOME/~}\007"'

useful when you have 100 minimized terminals in your dock

hat tip to mac world

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Works! Just keep in mind that either .bashrc or .bash_profiles can be loaded and not both together. I already had a .bash_profiles file so I had to paste it into this file. Thanks. – therealmarv Jul 31 '13 at 11:13
oh thanks! i've updated the answer to match this. i have "source ~/.bashrc" in my .bash_profile and forget that this is not common – PETER Aug 1 '13 at 11:59

I've found the following function, placed in my ~/.bashrc to be helpful:

function title {
    echo -ne "\033]0;"$*"\007"

Then I can call it from my bash prompt as follows:

> title I want a pony!

And my tab gets titled accordingly.

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I tried this, but it still doesn't work. I put this definition into bash_aliases, and have it loaded in .profile (if [ -f ${HOME}/.bash_aliases ]; then . ${HOME}/.bash_aliases fi) But then title dog didn't turn tab title into "dog" – qazwsx Jun 6 '13 at 21:06
+1 - I added mine to /etc/profile just cause that's where my aliases are... don't forget to source the file after you're done. Note: this also works in terminal. – blak3r Dec 10 '13 at 19:52
Very helpful. I wanted a pony; and I got one! – SoEzPz Oct 26 '15 at 16:55

Add this function to your ~/.bash_profile file and it should work.

function title ()
    export PROMPT_COMMAND='echo -ne "\033]0;$TITLE\007"'
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Yuk, all those aliases and functions. Easier solution (if you are root), paste this into a terminal:

sudo tee "$TARGET" <<'EOF'
#!/usr/bin/env bash
echo -ne "\033]0;$*\007"
sudo chmod 755 "$TARGET"

Or just make a file call title somewhere in your path, or global path, and paste the two lines between EOF.

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"Yuk with all those aliases." Enters answer no one can possible remember or type by hand. – Dan Jan 14 at 18:09

I like this one:

#setup terminal tab title
function title {
    if [ "$1" ]
        unset PROMPT_COMMAND
        echo -ne "\033]0;${*}\007"
        export PROMPT_COMMAND='echo -ne "\033]0;${PWD/#$HOME/~}\007"'

It will let you toggle the name of a tab between a custom name and a default of your CWD.

title -> your tab title will be ~/YOUR_CWD/

title hey there -> your tab title will be hey there

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