I am trying to change the prompt value for all users of a system (the $PS1 variable) to the same value.

I have the following stored in file /etc/ps1:

  if [ $? -eq 0 ];
    then echo -n "\[\033[00;35m\]\u\[\033[01;32m\]@\[\033[00;35m\]\h\[\033[00;32m\](\[\033[01;35m\]\W\[\033[01;32m\])\[\033[00;32m\]\$";
    else echo -n "\[\033[00;35m\]\u\[\033[01;31m\]@\[\033[00;35m\]\h\[\033[01;31m\](\[\033[35m\]\W\[\033[31m\])\[\033[00;31m\]\$";

Under my single user account I can add source /etc/ps1 to my ~/.profile file it works (interestingly it didn't work when I added that to ~/.bashrc). If I add this to /etc/profile or /etc/bashrc.basrch to make this happen for all users, nothing happens. I'm puling my hair out trying to get this to work. This is on Debian 7.1.0 (Linux 3.2.46).

  • Your assignment is inside out. For readability and maintainability, I recommend that you use the form: if ...; then PS1=...; else PS1=...; fi; PS1="$PS1\[\033[0m\]" removing the backticks and echoes. I have represented it here on one line due to the limitations of comment formatting, but you should maintain indentation similar to that of your question. – Dennis Williamson Oct 10 '13 at 21:35

Add your modified PS1 setting to /etc/profile.d/custom_ps1.sh. Files under /etc/profile.d are automatically sourced from /etc/profile:

if [ -d /etc/profile.d ]; then
  for i in /etc/profile.d/*.sh; do
    if [ -r $i ]; then
      . $i
  unset i

Which is called whenever a login shell is spawned. From the bash manpage:

When bash is invoked as an interactive login shell, or as a non-interactive shell with the --login option, it first reads and executes commands from the file /etc/profile, if that file exists. After reading that file, it looks for ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bash_login, and ~/.profile, in that order, and reads and executes commands from the first one that exists and is readable. The --noprofile option may be used when the shell is started to inhibit this behavior.

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