pwds

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Print the path of the current working directory, shortly.

The current working directory in your prompt can get uncomfortably large, leaving little space to type your own commands. With pwds paths like /home/user/Code/rust/src/doc/nomicon are displayed as ~/C/r/s/d/nomicon.

It shows the first two characters for (hidden) directories that start with a dot. So /home/rahiel/.config/autostart becomes ~/.c/autostart.

Installation

Install pwds with cargo:

cargo install pwds

The directory ~/.cargo/bin needs to be in your PATH for your shell to find the pwds binary. Follow this guide if you need help.

Then you need to customize your PS1 in your shell’s initialization file, e.g. .bashrc. Here is a standard prompt, the \w is an escape code for the current working directory:

PS1='\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '

replace \w with $(pwds):

PS1='\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]$(pwds)\[\033[00m\]\$ '

and enjoy a smaller prompt!

Customization

By default, paths with more than 16 characters are shortened by replacing directory names with their first character. This can be configured by setting the PWDS_LENGTH environment variable:

export PWDS_LENGTH=10

The current (most right) directory is never shortened.

References

I encountered the concept of pwds in fish and more recently in xonsh, two modern and user-friendly shells. I’d use xonsh but a few issues keep me from switching. In the meantime I’m trying to improve the experience of the Bash shell, with as one of the results this program.


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