Liquid Prompt: power bash & zsh prompt

We explored several power prompts and bars for bash and vim earlier. However, Liquid Prompt deserves a special mention due to the information it shows and flexibility of customization. It takes power prompts to next level from bashstyle-ng by bringing extensive system information right at the prompt. Liquid Prompt is a script that works with bash and zsh.


  • The usual – custom prefix, user, host, PWD
  • Numerical or analog clock
  • Current battery status and remaining life (acpi should be installed to fetch battery status)
  • Average CPU load over a threshold, with intensity colour map
  • Temperature of system sensors (lm-sensors should be installed)
  • Number of screen or tmux detached sessions
  • Number of attached sleeping jobs (using Ctrl-z) and running jobs (started with &)
  • Indication for screen or tmux session
  • X11 support indicator
  • SSH or telnet connection indicator
  • Integration with several version control systems Git, Mercurial, Subversion, Bazaar, or Fossil
  • Current branch status
  • and lot more…

Frankly, as soon as you start sing liquid prompt you’ll be amazed.

However, this processing comes at a cost of additional time and resource to show the prompt and might lead to unresponsive behaviour on slower connections.


Get the source from GitHub and source the shell script:

$ git clone 
$ source ./liquidprompt/liquidprompt

You can add the second line to your ~/.bashrc to enable Liquid Prompt permanently.


Some of the options are configurable using a config file. Copy the sample config from source first:

$ cp ./liquidprompt/liquidpromptrc-dist ~/.liquidpromptrc

Some configurable options are:

  • LP_BATTERY_THRESHOLD: threshold value under which the battery level is displayed (default 75).
  • LP_LOAD_THRESHOLD: threshold value over which the load average is displayed (default 60).
  • LP_PERCENTS_ALWAYS: display the percentages of load/batteries along with their corresponding marks or just coloured marks.
  • LP_RUNTIME_THRESHOLD: minimum value after which the runtime is displayed
  • LP_PATH_LENGTH: the maximum percentage of the screen width used to display the path. The default is 35%.
  • LP_HOSTNAME_ALWAYS: always displaying the hostname or showing it only when connected with a remote shell (the default).
  • LP_USER_ALWAYS: choose between always displaying the user (the default) or showing it only when he is different from the logged one.
  • LP_DISABLED_VCS_PATH: set to a list of absolute and : to disable VCS integration. Some users reported performance issues with large svn or git projects).
  • There are several other variables to disable certain integrations.

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