Basic Usage

basic usage

Digit 1 on 3rd line is false(1) exit code. Also on non-zero exit code terminal bell is sounded. Bell is turned off by default (to set softer terminal bell use setterm).


Branch and files are colored according to state. "M" stands for master.

git module screenshot

Table 1. Branch and Files Colors
Branch File Meaning

dark blue

Clean repo



Modified or new file. Modifications are in index but not in repo yet.

dark red

dark red

Modified and tracked by repo, but modifications not added to index yet.

light blue

light blue

Untracked file.

light red

Detached Head


In middle of doing something


svn module screenshot

SVN module disabled by default because even on moderate sized working directories there is noticeable delay for prompt display. SVN is slower than GIT. Enable if needed in config


HG module was developed by Lee Nussbaum <wln AT>.


Labels are visual cues to help figure out what terminal is running what command. It is generalization of xterm-title but differ from xterm-title that it can be displayed in other places (on Screen(1) windows titles for example). Also label can display currently executed command (when bash prompt obviously is not displayed). Because labels have less space then prompt, instead of full path only last dir is shown. On screenshot below labels are in red ovals.

The screen(1) status line at bottom of smaller gnome-terminal is displayed with following line in ~/.screenrc:

caption always "%{= kw}%-w%{= bw}%n %t%{-}%+w %-= @%H - %LD %d %LM - %c"

Simple AutoJump

AutoJump is python script from Joel Schaerer providing shortcuts for jumping to directories you once visited. Git-prompt have built-in, simplified autojump. It is only about 10 lines of bash code (vs original 100+ python LOC), there is no database. It remembers only directories from current session. It selects not most frequent dir, but last visited. Matches are done from beginning of of dir name (not path name).

cd /tmp
cd "~/long dir mp3"
cd "~/long dir mp4"
cd /tmp
cd /var/tmp
cd /etc
j t     # same as  cd /var/tmp
j .*3   # same as  cd "~/long dir mp3"


Download or get it with GIT:

  git clone git://

Put following command at the end of your profile (~/.bash_profile or ~/.profile)

  [[ $- == *i* ]]   &&   . /path/to/

There might be your old prompt defined too. You can comment it out. Some distros also have /etc/bashrc or /etc/bash/bashrc with distro default prompt.

GIT config

GIT-PROMPT requires following GIT’s option to be set:

git config [--global] core.quotepath off
git config [--global] --unset svn.pathnameencoding
git config [--global] --unset i18n.logoutputencoding


Is optional. If config file is not found then git-prompt uses defaults. Defaults are listed in example git-prompt.conf. Git-prompt looks (in listed order) for config file in following locations:

  • /etc/git-prompt.conf

  • ~/.git-prompt.conf

Copy example config git-prompt.conf to any of above locations and customize as needed.


  • cd-ing into something like linux kernel git working directory for the 1st time (with cold cache) might take up to 10 seconds (that is how long git status executes). Use vcs_ignore_dir_list in config if you want to ingnore such dirs.

  • Because you will be always reminded about dirty repo (not checked-in files), you will maintain .gitignore and commit more often.

  • This prompt is most useful if your screen have enough width. If this is not the case, you might want to disable file list display (max_file_list_length=0).

  • When prompt is longer than screen-width it wraps to second line. This is always undesirable. Because of bug in gnome-terminal (or readline ?) some color escape codes can be visible on second line. I’ve reported gnome-terminal bug. Again, you can disable file list display or limit length (max_file_list_length).

  • By default some terminals display ascii color with maximum color saturation which makes colored text of different perceptual brightness. This makes it hard to read. If your terminal colors are configurable, try change it to softer (pastel) colors.


Most probably you don’t need to install anything because not optional dependencies are standard unix utils.

  • bash (tested with v3.2.33)

  • sed

  • tput (terminfo)

  • tty (core utils)

  • grep

  • locale (glibc)

  • id (core utils)

  • cksum (core utils)

  • git (optional)

  • svn (optional)

  • hg (optional)


How to submit patch

You can just email patch to All feedback is much appreciated.

If you are on Github it is even easier. See github patch-submit HOWTOs: ( 1, 2, 3 ) .

There is no hard set style rules.

Nobody will use git-prompt if there will be delay in prompt display. Try to avoid use of external commands and subshells (backticks) in prompt_command_function. It is ok to use time consuming ops in postconfig which is executed only once.