How can I configure my .bash_profile to add a blank line after any command output?


You want to adjust the shell prompt; the default shell is bash, and it will happily inject a newline into the prompt by embedding \n in the appropriate variables. (PS1 by default.)

More details at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-tip-prompt/ or in the manual page - though that is a much more pleasant reference.

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  • My shell is bash and below is what I currently have: export PS1="\u:\w - " With above if I add "\n" at the end then the new line gets added immediately after the second line hyphen "-" and not after command output. I am looking for something that would add new line after command execution. – humanfly Feb 6 '12 at 0:06
  • Try putting the newline at the start of your prompt. :) – Daniel Pittman Feb 6 '12 at 0:11

Add the following line at the end of ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bashrc, whichever exists:


This will add a newline before a prompt is printed, which is after control is returned to the shell.

Unless your command prompt contains shell commands or variables (which would get executed/interpreted at the time of variable assignment), this will work. Otherwise, just prepend the \n to your original prompt definition.

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  • In more recent version of OS X this file was renamed to: ~/.profile – Marcus Böhm Aug 2 '14 at 8:34
  • @MarcusBöhm: Completely different file, see e.g. man bash, section INVOCATION. However, if you've never changes anything, the files I mention may not exist. – Daniel Beck Aug 2 '14 at 9:43

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