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Display git status in the the terminal prompt
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lfaoro and akupila brew: reduce install procedure (#6)
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cmd/gitprompt Fix double character in non-git dir (#5) Mar 26, 2019
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gitprompt is a configurable, fast and zero-dependencies* way of getting the current git status to be displayed in the PROMPT.

On master without changes:

gitprompt on master

On branch feature/awesome with one staged file, one commit ahead origin and two modified files:

gitprompt with changes

The format is fully customizable, see more below!


  • Current branch / sha1
  • Untracked files
  • Modified files
  • Staged files
  • Commits behind / ahead remote

When executed, gitprompt gets the git status of the current working directory then prints it according to the format specified. If the current working directory is not part of a git repository, gitprompt exits with code 0 and no output.

* git is required


The output is configured with -format or the GITPROMPT_FORMAT environment variable. If both are set, the flag takes precedence.

A very bare-bones format can look like this:

gitprompt -format="%h >%s ↓%b ↑%a @%c +%m %u "

# or

export GITPROMPT_FORMAT="%h >%s ↓%b ↑%a @%c +%m %u "

Characters that don't have a special meaning are printed as usual (unicode characters are fine, go crazy with emojis if that's your thing).


Various data from git can be displayed in the output. Data tokens are prefixed with %:

token explanation
%h Current branch or sha1
%s Number of files staged
%b Number of commits behind remote
%a Number of commits ahead of remote
%c Number of conflicts
%m Number of files modified
%u Number of untracked files

Normally %h displays the current branch (master) but if you're detached from HEAD, it will display the current sha1. Only first 7 characters of the sha1 are displayed.


The color can be set with color tokens, prefixed with #:

token color
#k Black
#r Red
#g Green
#y Yellow
#b Blue
#m Magenta
#c Cyan
#w White
#K Highlight Black
#R Highlight Red
#G Highlight Green
#Y Highlight Yellow
#B Highlight Blue
#M Highlight Magenta
#C Highlight Cyan
#W Highlight White

The color is set until another color overrides it, or a group ends (see below). If a color was set when gitprompt is done, it will add a color reset escape code at the end, meaning text after gitprompt won't have the color applied.

Text attributes

The text attributes can be set with attribute tokens, prefixed with @:

token attribute
@b Set bold
@B Clear bold
@f Set faint/dim color
@F Clear faint/dim color
@i Set italic
@I Clear italic

As with colors, if an attribute was set when gitprompt is done, an additional escape code is automatically added to clear it.


Groups can be used for adding logic to the format. A group's output is only printed if at least one item in the group has data.

token action
[ start group
] end group

Consider the following:

%h[ %a][ %m]

With head=master, ahead=3, modified=0, this will print master 3 since there were not modified files. Note the space that's included in the group, if spacing should be added when the group is present, the spacing should be added to the group itself.

Colors and attributes are also scoped to a group, meaning they won't leak outside so there's no need to reset colors. This prints behind in red, - without any formatting, and ahead in green:

[#r behind: %b] - [#g ahead: %a]

A group requires one data token to have a non-zero value. The following prints the current branch/sha1 in cyan, then number of staged files (if not zero), then commits behind and ahead (if both are not zero). This allows for symmetry, if it's desired to show master >1 ↓0 ↑2 instead of master >1 ↑2:

#c%h[ >%s][ ↓%b ↑%a]

Complete example

Putting everything together, a complex format may look something like this:

gitprompt -format="#B(@b#R%h[#y >%s][#m ↓%b ↑%a][#r x%c][#g +%m][#y ϟ%u]#B) "
  • ( in highlight blue
  • Current branch/sha1 in bold red
  • If there are staged files, number of staged files in yellow, prefixed with >
  • If there are commits ahead or behind, show them with arrows in magenta
  • If there are conflicts, show them in red, prefixed with x
  • If files have been modified since the previous commit, show +3 for 3 modified files
  • If files are untracked (added since last commit), show a lightning and the number in yellow
  • ) in highlight blue

Any text printed after gitprompt will have all formatting cleared


Installation consists of two parts: get the binary & configure your shell to use it.

Get binary


Ensure you have Homebrew installed.

$ brew install akupila/gitprompt/gitprompt

Install binary directly

$ curl -sfL | bash -s -- -b /usr/local/bin

Feel free to change the path from /usr/local/bin, just make sure gitprompt is available on your $PATH (check with gitprompt -version).

$ curl -sfL | sudo bash -s -- -b /usr/local/bin

Build from source

Install the go toolchain:

$ go get

The code has no vendored dependencies so no need to worry about that.

Configure your shell


Execute gitprompt as part of PROMPT. Add this to your ~/.zshrc:

export PROMPT='$PROMPT %{$(gitprompt -zsh)%}'

The -zsh flag makes gitprompt output the correct width of visible characters, which fixes counting ansi color codes (breaks wrapping).

Now reload the config (source ~/.zshrc) and gitprompt should show up. Feel free to add anything else here too, just execute gitprompt where you want the status, for example (this was used for taking the screenshots in the readme):

export PROMPT='%(?:%{$fg_bold[green]%}›:%{$fg_bold[red]%}›) %{$fg[cyan]%}%3d %{$(gitprompt -zsh)%}%{$reset_color%}'

Alternatively, you can add this to RPROMPT instead, which will make the status appear on the right hand side of the screen. gitprompt will by default add a trailing space so you you may want to customize the formatting if you don't want a trailing space here.


Set PS1 in your ~/.bashrc and reload the config (source ~/.bashrc).

For example:

export PS1='$PS1 $(gitprompt)'

See bashrcgenerator for more, just add $(gitprompt) where you want the git status to appear.


  1. Remove gitprompt from your shell config
  2. Delete the binary rm $(which gitprompt) or brew uninstall gitprompt
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