Powerline for Bash/ZSH
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Powerline style prompt for Bash (and now, ZSH)

A Powerline like prompt for Bash/ZSH:


  • Shows some important details about the git branch:
    • Displays the current git branch which changes background color when the branch is dirty
    • A '+' appears when untracked files are present
    • When the local branch differs from the remote, the difference in number of commits is shown along with '⇡' or '⇣' indicating whether a git push or pull is pending
  • Changes color if the last command exited with a failure code
  • If you're too deep into a directory tree, shortens the displayed path with an ellipsis
  • Shows the current Python virtualenv environment
  • It's all done in a Python script, so you could go nuts with it


  • This script uses ANSI color codes to display colors in a terminal. These are notoriously non-portable, so may not work for you out of the box, but try setting your $TERM to xterm-256color, because that works for me.

  • Patch the font you use for your terminal: see https://github.com/Lokaltog/vim-powerline/wiki/Patched-fonts

  • Clone this repository somewhere:

      git clone https://github.com/milkbikis/powerline-bash
  • Create a symlink to the python script in your home:

      ln -s <path/to/powerline-bash.py> ~/powerline-bash.py

    If you don't want the symlink, just modify the path in the commands below

  • Now add the following to your .bashrc:

      function _update_ps1() {
         export PS1="$(~/powerline-bash.py $?)"
      export PROMPT_COMMAND="_update_ps1"
  • ZSH fans, add the following to your .zshrc:

      function powerline_precmd() {
        export PS1="$(~/powerline-bash.py $? --shell zsh)"
      function install_powerline_precmd() {
        for s in "${precmd_functions[@]}"; do
          if [ "$s" = "powerline_precmd" ]; then