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May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
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Changing the terminal title to the last shell command

Terminal - Changing the terminal title to the last shell command
trap 'echo -e "\e]0;$BASH_COMMAND\007"' DEBUG
2009-09-29 21:09:21
User: Vereb
Functions: trap
Changing the terminal title to the last shell command

You can set the previous bash command as the terminal title by this command.


-trap assigns a command to execute at a given bash signal.

-in the $BASH_COMMAND you find the last command

-you can set the terminal title with the escape sequence: \e]0;this is the title\007

-to let the echo care about the backslashes give the -e to it

Since trap is a built in bash command you find more informatin in 'man bash'for more

Source: http://www.davidpashley.com/articles/xterm-titles-with-bash.html


There are 10 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
if [ "$SHELL" = '/bin/zsh' ]; then case $TERM in rxvt|*term|linux) preexec () { print -Pn "\e]0;$1\a" };; esac; fi
[[ "x$TERM" == "xrxvt" || "x$XTERM_VERSION" == xXTerm* || "x$COLORTERM" == 'gnome-terminal' && "x$SHELL" == */bin/zsh ]] && preexec () { print -Pn "\e]0;$1\a" }
2009-10-05 15:39:45
User: Patola

Found another way, more compatible. Tested with xterm, aterm, gnome-terminal and rxvt (where it sets the window title) and guake (where it doesn't - after all, guake does not show the window title).

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Holy crap, that's nice!

I've got plenty of aliases that wrap lengthy commands and give me feedback in the titlebar. Your trap combined with a PROMPT_COMMAND opens up a whole new world!


Comment by flatcap 368 weeks and 5 days ago

Doesn't seems to work when sending process in background using "&"

Comment by eastwind 368 weeks and 5 days ago

I don't have a problem with background tasks -- they show up as expected. However, I do see an unnecessary newline after every command. Try changing the command to use:

echo -ne
Comment by flatcap 368 weeks and 5 days ago

Just for fairness, I found the similar trick in zsh:


Although for the behaviour to be really identical, I'd change the code from the above URL to:

# Last command on window title:

if [ "$SHELL" = '/bin/zsh' ]


case $TERM in


preexec () { print -Pn "\e]0;$1\a" }




Comment by Patola 368 weeks ago

Yes, you are right, i found it there. I didn't want to be unfair.

I started to collect these useful scripts here. I should have mention the source, sorry!

Comment by Vereb 367 weeks and 6 days ago

What about bash ENV.?

does any remedy there?

Comment by krax 252 weeks and 3 days ago

Your point of view

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