Current git branch in bash prompt

March 22 2011

Git users - do this happen to you?

An error comes in via Hoptoad and it needs to be fixed asap. I manage to track down the source, and commit a fix. I go make a coffee while Capistrano does its thing. Crisis averted.

I come back to find my Inbox full of Hoptoad exceptions. As usual I find out I broke the build and rollback to the previous, less broken version. It dawns on me that I was working in the wrong branch and pushed with it some unfinished stuff. I spend a minute or so sorting it out and redeploy.

The reason I posed my original question, is because this has happened to me on more than one occasion. Only recently have I found a quick solution that seems to be working well for me - showing the current git branch in your bash prompt.

Throw the following snippet in your bash_profile (alter the colours to suit), load up a new terminal session and change into the root of one of your projects that you manage in git.

# Bash prompt
function parse_git_branch {
  git branch --no-color 2> /dev/null | sed -e '/^[^*]/d' -e 's/* \(.*\)/(\1)/'


PS1="$RED\$(date +%H:%M) \w$YELLOW\$(parse_git_branch)\$ $NO_COLOUR"

This tweak also means that I don’t have to keep typing git branch all over the place.