Matteo Mattei

Hello, my name is Matteo Mattei and this is my personal website. I am computer engineer with a long experience in Linux system administration and web software development.

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Show Git branch name on shell prompt

Maintaining multiple git repositories might became a mess specially if you often switch from one folder to another and if you are used to work on different branches. Basically you have to type every time git branch on the terminal to make sure to work on the correct working copy.

If your OS is Linux (or MacOSx) and you have Bash installed, you can customize the Bash prompt to always show the current branch name in your working directory.

First of all type ensure your default shell is /bin/bash

matteo@barracuda ~ $ echo $SHELL

Then edit ~/.bashrc file and add the following lines at the bottom:

parse_git_branch() {
     git branch 2> /dev/null | sed -e '/^[^*]/d' -e 's/* \(.*\)/(\1)/'

PS1="\u@\h \[\e[32m\]\w \[\e[91m\]\$(parse_git_branch)\[\e[00m\]$ "

Basically we added the parse_git_branch() function which prints out the current git branch (if you are in a git project) and then reset the PS1 variable (the Bash prompt) calling the previously function.

Now you have to enable the new configuration just typing the following or doing a new login:

matteo@barracuda ~ $ . ~/.bashrc

Let’s try and see how it looks like:

matteo@barracuda ~ $ cd src/myproject
matteo@barracuda ~/src/myproject (master)$

That’s all! If you like to change colors or other PS1 parameters you can refer to the following resources:

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