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How to add git branch name to shell prompt in Ubuntu

sonyarianto profile image Sony AK Updated on ・2 min read

When I work in a git repository directory that has many branches, I want to know which branch I am currently in on my shell prompt. Below is the sample output result.

Before my shell prompt is like this. Note suppose I am on folder ~/general/repos/playground.


We will create like this.

sony@ubuntu:~/general/repos/playground (master)$

On above example, I am on my playground git repository directory and it display the branch name master. It means I am on master branch now.

Today I will share how to create it.


I want to add git branch name to my shell prompt when I am in a project repository directory. I am using Ubuntu, so the default shell is bash.

Step-by-step to go there

Step 1. Go to your shell prompt first.

Step 2. We have to know the current prompt setting, type like below.

echo $PS1

$PS1 is the enviroment variable that store the default prompt setting we see every time when we log in the console.

On mine, the setting is like below.

\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$

Looks great.

Step 3. Open file ~/.bashrc

vi ~/.bashrc

Step 4. Add this function on the bottom of your ~/.bashrc file.

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

Step 5. Add this on the bottom of your ~/.bashrc file. Add the git_branch function on the shell prompt, by adding it on PS1 variable. Sample like below (that based on my $PS1 output above).

export PS1="\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\] \$(git_branch)\$ "

Step 6. You are done. Now save the file ~/.bashrc and run this command to reflect the changes.

source ~/.bashrc

Or you can close the terminal and re-open again to reflect the changes.

Now on my shell prompt will display like below.

sony@ubuntu:~/general/repos/playground (master)$

Add color to make it better

This is just additional cosmetics things. I will make the branch indicator (master) to green for foreground color. Add this \[\033[00;32m\]\$(git_branch)\[\033[00m\] to your PS1 variable. On mine is like below.

export PS1="\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\] \[\033[00;32m\]\$(git_branch)\[\033[00m\]\$ "

That's it.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy it.



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Awesome article. One gotcha though, If I make a new branch from the terminal it doesn't immediately reflect the changes. I have to open a new terminal or run source ~/.bashrc again


Thanks for the comment, yes yes you are right. I update also the article.


Thank you!


How to change color for git branch name??? Please! defalut color is white, i wanna change color.


I think on the article already explained :)


It works for me. Thank you!
How to change branch name to other color? (for example: red,purple)


Hi Chien, thanks for reading my article, for changing to other color please refer to color code, for example in this link misc.flogisoft.com/bash/tip_colors... or this shellhacks.com/bash-colors/


Awesome ! Thank you for this nice article !