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2.4.7 Customizing the Prompt

The following variables are available for customizing the appearance of the command-line prompts. Octave allows the prompt to be customized by inserting a number of backslash-escaped special characters that are decoded as follows:


The time.


The date.


Begins a new line by printing the equivalent of a carriage return followed by a line feed.


The name of the program (usually just ‘octave’).


The current working directory.


The basename of the current working directory.


The username of the current user.


The hostname, up to the first `.'.


The hostname.


The command number of this command, counting from when Octave starts.


The history number of this command. This differs from ‘\#’ by the number of commands in the history list when Octave starts.


If the effective UID is 0, a ‘#’, otherwise a ‘$’.


The character whose character code in octal is nnn.


A backslash.

Built-in Function: val = PS1 ()
Built-in Function: old_val = PS1 (new_val)

Query or set the primary prompt string. When executing interactively, Octave displays the primary prompt when it is ready to read a command.

The default value of the primary prompt string is "\s:\#> ". To change it, use a command like

octave:13> PS1 ("\\u@\\H> ")

which will result in the prompt ‘boris@kremvax> ’ for the user ‘boris’ logged in on the host ‘’. Note that two backslashes are required to enter a backslash into a double-quoted character string. See section Strings.

See also: PS2, PS4.

Built-in Function: val = PS2 ()
Built-in Function: old_val = PS2 (new_val)

Query or set the secondary prompt string. The secondary prompt is printed when Octave is expecting additional input to complete a command. For example, if you are typing a for loop that spans several lines, Octave will print the secondary prompt at the beginning of each line after the first. The default value of the secondary prompt string is "> ".

See also: PS1, PS4.

Built-in Function: val = PS4 ()
Built-in Function: old_val = PS4 (new_val)

Query or set the character string used to prefix output produced when echoing commands is enabled. The default value is "+ ". See section Diary and Echo Commands, for a description of echoing commands.

See also: echo, echo_executing_commands, PS1, PS2.

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