Home > Documentation, macOS, Management Profiles, Unix > Customizing Terminal behavior for documentation needs

Customizing Terminal behavior for documentation needs

As part of writing documentation today, I was given a script to follow when making some videos as part of the documentation process. The script included the following requirement:

  • Prepare the Terminal to not show the hostname or the logged-in user

By default, Terminal in macOS Monterey will show both. How to get rid of this?

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 27 15 PM

Fortunately for me, @scriptingosx had already documented how to do this as part of this post. You can use the PS1 environmental variable to set how your prompt appears in Terminal. After some experimentation, I set the following environmental variable:

PS1="\$ "

To have this prompt appear whenever I opened a new Terminal session, I added the following line to a newly-created .zshrc file in my home folder:

export PS1="\$ "

The .zshrc file is a configuration file for the zsh shell, so adding that and then opening a new Terminal window gave me a prompt which looks like this.

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 07 10 PM

As part of making the videos, I also noticed that when I copied and pasted a command into the Terminal that the pasted text was highlighted automatically. I’d seen this before and ignored it, but I thought it might be an unnecessary distraction for those watching this video later, so I went looking for how to disable it.

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 14 30 PM

After some research, I found that this was zsh’s “bracketed paste” feature, which was introduced as part of zsh 5.1. This feature can be turned off using the following command:

unset zle_bracketed_paste

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 15 20 PM

Adding entries for both the prompt and turning off bracketed paste to my .zshrc file gave me the Terminal behavior I wanted:

export PS1="\$ "
unset zle_bracketed_paste

Screen Shot 2022 07 14 at 3 19 14 PM

I also performed additional customization of my Terminal experience, but those modifications were managed using a configuration profile. For more details on that, please see this previous post:


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