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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

4 Answers 4

up vote 25 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
@mawaldne, why does this work? It seems really bizarre - you start editing the theme name, then abandon? –  Steve Bennett Mar 22 at 23:48

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

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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