How to show the host name in Linux commandline prompt

I have several VMs and right now my command-line prompt looks like -bash-3.2$; identical on every VM, because it doesn’t contain the host name.
I need to always see which VM I’m on using hostname before I do any operation. How can I add the host name to the shell prompt?


Asked By: uday


Just change the value of the $PS1 environment variable:

PS1="h$ "

where h is replaced with the hostname. Add that to /etc/bash.bashrc to set it permanent.

Answered By: chaos

Look into your ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile, there may be a commented prompt setup that should do what you want, like this one on our infra:

export PS1='h:w$ '

Which looks like:


Or if you plan on logging as non-root, you can use:

 export PS1='u@h:w$ '

to add username before the hostname.

You can have fun adding colours, multiline or whatever info you want in the prompt, a quick search on “bash prompts” should give you plenty of hints.

Answered By: Lukhas

As well as changing prompt there is an option in the configuration of konsole and the gnome terminal emulator, that will change the title bar (or tab title).

Answered By: ctrl-alt-delor

I like when the shell prompt shows the username, hostname and the name of the working directory. In addition, I like, when all of this is shown in colors. So I usually put

export PS1='[33[0;32m]u@h:[33[36m]W[33[0m] $ '

in ~/.bashrc. In order to apply changes immediately, call

. ~/.bashrc

Also if you switch to root using su it is good to see bash prompt in a different color, so that you exercise extra caution. For this I add the line

export PS1='[33[0;31m]u@h:[33[36m]W[33[0m] $ '

into /root/.bashrc. And call

. /root/.bashrc

to apply the changes. Then it looks like this

enter image description here

Very often VPS server admins provide dumb hostnames. In order to change it, open /etc/sysconfig/network and change the line


If you want different colors for username@host part, you have to change 0;32m part in the first example, or 0;31m part in the second example. The list of available colors can be found here

Since .bashrc is executed for non-login shells, do not forget to double check that

if [ -f ~/.bashrc ]; then
         . ~/.bashrc

is present in ~/.bash_profile, since ~/.bash_profile is executed at your login. And also add the same piece into /root/.bash_profile.

Answered By: John Smith
Categories: Answers Tags: , ,
Answers are sorted by their score. The answer accepted by the question owner as the best is marked with
at the top-right corner.