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kube-ps1: Kubernetes prompt for bash and zsh

A script that lets you add the current Kubernetes context and namespace configured on kubectl to your Bash/Zsh prompt strings (i.e. the $PS1).

Inspired by several tools used to simplify usage of kubectl.




prompt demo


Package managers

MacOS Brew Ports

Homebrew package manager:

brew update
brew install kube-ps1

Arch Linux

AUR Package available at

Oh My Zsh

kube-ps1 is included as a plugin in the oh-my-zsh project. To enable it, edit your ~/.zshrc and add the plugin:


PROMPT='$(kube_ps1)'$PROMPT # or RPROMPT='$(kube_ps1)'

Zsh Plugin Managers

Using zinit

Update .zshrc with:

zinit light jonmosco/kube-ps1
PROMPT='$(kube_ps1)'$PROMPT # or RPROMPT='$(kube_ps1)'


Fig adds apps, shortcuts, and autocomplete to your existing terminal.

Install kube-ps1 in zsh, bash, or fish with one click.

From Source

  1. Clone this repository
  2. Source the in your ~/.zshrc or your ~/.bashrc


source /path/to/
PROMPT='$(kube_ps1)'$PROMPT # or RPROMPT='$(kube_ps1)'


source /path/to/
PS1='[\u@\h \W $(kube_ps1)]\$ '


The default prompt assumes you have the kubectl command line utility installed. Official installation instructions and binaries are available:

Install and Set up kubectl

If using this with OpenShift, the oc tool needs installed. It can be obtained from brew ports:

brew install openshift-cli

or the source can be downloaded:

OC Client Tools

Set the binary to oc with the following variable:


If neither binary is available, the prompt will print the following:


Helper utilities

There are several great tools that make using kubectl very enjoyable:

Tmux port

I have begun porting kube-ps1 to tmux as a status line plugin. If you prefer tmux, and like the functionality provided by kube-ps1, checkout the kube-tmux project

Prompt Structure

The default prompt layout is:


If the current-context is not set, kube-ps1 will return the following:



The default symbols are UTF8 and should work with most fonts. Due to differences in font and terminal spacing, a KUBE_PS1_SYMBOL_PADDING option is available to provide an extra space after the symbol.

In order to have the OpenShift icon, a patched font that contains the glyph must be installed. Nerd Fonts provides an OpenShift icon. Follow the install directions (out of scope for this project) to install a patched font.

Once installed and the font is made active in a terminal session, test to see if the symbol is available:

prompt openshift na

If the symbol is not available, it will display an empty set of brackets or similar:

 echo -n "\ue7b7"

Below is a screenshot of the OpenShift symbol using the Inconsolata font from Nerd Fonts:

prompt openshift


If you want to stop showing Kubernetes status on your prompt string temporarily run kubeoff. To disable the prompt for all shell sessions, run kubeoff -g. You can enable it again in the current shell by running kubeon, and globally with kubeon -g.

kubeon     : turn on kube-ps1 status for this shell.  Takes precedence over
             global setting for current session
kubeon -g  : turn on kube-ps1 status globally
kubeoff    : turn off kube-ps1 status for this shell. Takes precedence over
             global setting for current session
kubeoff -g : turn off kube-ps1 status globally


The default settings can be overridden in ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc by setting the following variables:

Variable Default Meaning
KUBE_PS1_BINARY kubectl Default Kubernetes binary
KUBE_PS1_NS_ENABLE true Display the namespace. If set to false, this will also disable KUBE_PS1_DIVIDER
KUBE_PS1_PREFIX ( Prompt opening character
KUBE_PS1_SYMBOL_ENABLE true Display the prompt Symbol. If set to false, this will also disable KUBE_PS1_SEPARATOR
KUBE_PS1_SYMBOL_PADDING false Adds a space (padding) after the symbol to prevent clobbering prompt characters
KUBE_PS1_SYMBOL_DEFAULT Default prompt symbol. Unicode \u2388
KUBE_PS1_SYMBOL_USE_IMG false ☸️ , Unicode \u2638 as the prompt symbol
KUBE_PS1_SEPARATOR | Separator between symbol and context name
KUBE_PS1_DIVIDER : Separator between context and namespace
KUBE_PS1_SUFFIX ) Prompt closing character
KUBE_PS1_CLUSTER_FUNCTION No default, must be user supplied Function to customize how cluster is displayed
KUBE_PS1_NAMESPACE_FUNCTION No default, must be user supplied Function to customize how namespace is displayed

For terminals that do not support UTF-8, the symbol will be replaced with the string k8s.

To disable a feature, set it to an empty string:



The default colors are set with the following variables:

Variable Default Meaning
KUBE_PS1_PREFIX_COLOR null Set default color of the prompt prefix
KUBE_PS1_SYMBOL_COLOR blue Set default color of the Kubernetes symbol
KUBE_PS1_CTX_COLOR red Set default color of the context
KUBE_PS1_SUFFIX_COLOR null Set default color of the prompt suffix
KUBE_PS1_NS_COLOR cyan Set default color of the namespace
KUBE_PS1_BG_COLOR null Set default color of the prompt background

Blue was used for the default symbol to match the Kubernetes color as closely as possible. Red was chosen as the context name to stand out, and cyan for the namespace.

Set the variable to an empty string if you do not want color for each prompt section:


Names are usable for the following colors:

black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan

256 colors are available by specifying the numerical value as the variable argument.

Customize display of cluster name and namespace

You can change how the cluster name and namespace are displayed using the KUBE_PS1_CLUSTER_FUNCTION and KUBE_PS1_NAMESPACE_FUNCTION variables respectively.

For the following examples let's assume the following:

cluster name: namespace: alpha

If you're using domain style cluster names, your prompt will get quite long very quickly. Let's say you only want to display the first portion of the cluster name (sandbox), you could do that by adding the following:

function get_cluster_short() {
  echo "$1" | cut -d . -f1


The same pattern can be followed to customize the display of the namespace. Let's say you would prefer the namespace to be displayed in all uppercase (ALPHA), here's one way you could do that:

function get_namespace_upper() {
    echo "$1" | tr '[:lower:]' '[:upper:]'

export KUBE_PS1_NAMESPACE_FUNCTION=get_namespace_upper

In both cases, the variable is set to the name of the function, and you must have defined the function in your shell configuration before kube_ps1 is called. The function must accept a single parameter and echo out the final value.

Bug Reports and shell configuration

Due to the vast ways of customizing the shell, please try the prompt with a minimal configuration before submitting a bug report.

This can be done as follows for each shell before loading kube-ps1:


bash --norc


zsh -f
zsh --no-rcs

For the OpenShift symbol, a patched font that contains the icon must be installed. Nerd Fonts Downloads provides patched fonts containing the symbol. Please consult their documentation for this, support is out of scope for this project.