HOWTO turn your shell-prompt into a hamburger

Andre Torrez has a cute and simple recipe for making your shell prompt into a hamburger (or other whimsical emoji character). Just type

export PS1="\w 🍔 "

into the terminal to try it out. Apparently some Macs ship with an Emoji font installed; if you need one, you can get a free, excellent one from the Unicode Fonts for Ancient Scripts page, by downloading the Symbola font (.ZIP file) and installing it with your font manager.

To make the change permanent, you need to add a line to .profile, .bash_profile or .bashrc (depending on your *nix flavor). There are lots of other ways to customize your prompt enumerated in the article, too.

happy notes* / april 2013 / put a burger in your shell



  1. My burger doesn’t seem to have an alpha mask like the one in the screenshot; it has an opaque off-white box around it.  Anybody know why?  Also does anybody have a reference for the codes for other emojis?

  2. If Cory turned his shell prompt into a banana, how long would he spend just looking at it?

    Would dehydration become a factor?

  3. “Apparently some Macs ship with an Emoji font installed”

    Macs have had Emoji support since Lion came out in 2011.

    1. This doesn’t seem to work in Snow Leopard, so I suspect this neat feature requires Lion or Mountain Lion.

      1. Try this in Terminal:

        diskutil repairPermissions / && say You did something productive instead of farting around

        1. That worked. Cute. Well. I suspect that “diskutil repairPermissions” is superstitious nonsense, but it did speak those words aloud.

    2. I read that line more as “Don’t let this post imply that I use any Apple products.”

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