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by Jiří {x2} Činčura

My Bash like prompt in PowerShell

24 Jan 2016 2 mins Bash, PowerShell

It all started with this tweet:

Pimped up my #PowerShell prompt a little. More bash-like style. #geek

And was asked what I did. It’s actually nothing special, just few things I really like while working via ssh in Bash, which is my default shell wherever possible.

So what I actually did? I just really played little bit with formatting. But the whole prompt for me is like this.

In your PowerShell profile ($PROFILE) you can specify Prompt function and have the prompt whatever you like. The mine is the blank line, followed by current path and the “real” prompt on new line. From Bash I’m used to $ as a prompt and # as root (or Administrator in Windows case) respectively. I also change the title of the window to include ADMIN: prefix, just to see it there as well, i.e. for Alt-Tab. Finally I also replace the path from USERPROFILE environment variable (if it’s there) in current path by ~.

Here’s how it looks like.


So my Prompt function look like this.

$isAdministrator = ([Security.Principal.WindowsPrincipal][Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent()).IsInRole([Security.Principal.WindowsBuiltInRole]'Administrator')
function Prompt {
	$currentDir = $pwd.Path.Replace($env:USERPROFILE, "~")

	$prefix = ''
	if ($isAdministrator) {
		$prefix = 'ADMIN: '
	$Host.UI.RawUI.WindowTitle = "$prefix$(Split-Path $currentDir -Leaf)"

	$prompt = '$'
	if ($isAdministrator) {
		$prompt = '#'
	return "`n$currentDir`n$prompt "

No colors as you can see (not much to choose from in ConsoleColor enum).

That’s mostly the visual part. Now the behavior. For a long time I’m using PSReadLine, which is, by the way, in Windows 10 directly. I’m quite happy with defaults (Cmd mode). So I’m only tweaking the bell and mapping Ctrl-D to closing the shell. Other shortcuts I’m often using, the Esc and Ctrl-R, have the default functions as I like it already (and I would remap these if not).

Set-PSReadlineKeyHandler -Chord 'Ctrl+d' -Function DeleteCharOrExit
Set-PSReadlineOption -BellStyle Visual

Some final fine tuning. Bash uses > as a continuation line prompt. So do I.

Set-PSReadlineOption -ContinuationPrompt '> '

And that’s it. That’s my Bash-like prompt in PowerShell (with PSReadLine’s help (and in ConEmu which I also use)).

Profile Picture Jiří Činčura is .NET, C# and Firebird expert. He focuses on data and business layers, language constructs, parallelism, databases and performance. For almost two decades he contributes to open-source, i.e. FirebirdClient. He works as a senior software engineer for Microsoft. Frequent speaker and blogger at