Depicting a shell is not an easy task; in the screenshot above we only show the default prompt. It has the following disadvantages,
- It does not differentiate visually between the username and hostname.
- It shows the relative path only, making it difficult to realize quickly the full path for the current working directory.
- Cannot copy the path using the mouse by double-clicking on it. The ~ is not included in the highlighted text, that one needs to paste and add the remaining part of the path (such as /home/user/)
- The point of input changes position on the command line, depending on the size of the path. As you cd into directories, the point of input moves further to the right.
This is the prompt with the bashrc project configuration files. It solves the problems described with the default configuration files found in Linux distributions.
Obviously, there are more to the shell’s configuration files than a usable prompt. For example,
- the ability to show the partial matches when you press Tab for the first time
- enabling the shopt options to reasonable values
- have reasonable aliases for . .. … / –
- adding –verbose, –interactive to basic utilities such as cp, mv, rm
- show the exit value of an application if it is other than 0 ($?)
There is a EnhancedBash project for the Ubuntu Linux distribution which might be able to break apart and provide better default configuration files.
If you want to help and add more to the proposed configuration, visit http://github.com/simos/bashrc/
To use the bashrc shell, you need to
- Download the latest package from http://github.com/simos/bashrc/ (note the Download button).
- Extract the package, open a terminal window and enter the newly created directory.
- Run make install
- Open a new shell window. The new settings should be activated.