zsh how to reload updated function definition - shell

I am unable to update a function definition in my zsh dotfiles.
Specifically, I have this in my ~/.zshrc
unalias cd 2>/dev/null # Prevent infinite loops if sourcing this file again in the same session
logged_cd() {
cd "$#"
pwd > ~/.last_cd
alias "cd"="logged_cd" # keep track of most recent directory
I want to update the logged_cd function
logged_cd() {
cd "$#" && pwd > ~/.last_cd || return 1
So I updated my ~/.zshrc with the updated code, and did source ~/.zshrc but the old definition was still there.
I saw this one related question that suggested using unfunction which I tried, but that didn't work either.
Note that I also tried opening a new tab in my terminal so that zsh would be reloaded entirely but even in the new shell, it still is using the old function definition. Is something else going on here?


Terminal prompt on new Mac is not the same as on my existing Mac

MacOS Ventura 13.1
M2 Silicon
Trying to set up a new mac. On my existing Mac, I have a .zshrc, and in it, I have the following:
## begin Git branch prompt
git_branch_test_color() {
local ref=$(git symbolic-ref --short HEAD 2> /dev/null)
if [ -n "${ref}" ]; then
if [ -n "$(git status --porcelain)" ]; then
local gitstatuscolor='%F{red}'
local gitstatuscolor='%F{green}'
echo "${gitstatuscolor} (${ref})"
echo ""
PROMPT='%/ $(git_branch_test_color)%F{none} $ '
# add 24h time the right side
RPROMPT='%D{%m-%d-%Y %k:%M:%S}'
## end Git branch prompt
And I would get something like:
/Users/jmac/Development/repos/p1 (development) $ 02-16-2023 19:20:56
(development) is in red, because I have not checked in my changes and the full path is there for me to see.
On the new Mac, there is no .zshrc by default, so I added the code to the .zprofile file, and it's not working the same. I see the date/time on the right, but I don't see the full path and the prompt looks like this:
/Users/jmac p1 % 02-16-2023 19:20:56
Any ideas? prompt modification is not my forte.
The short answer: create a ~/.zshrc file and move that code into it.
The slightly longer answer: something is overriding the value in the PROMPT variable. There isn't anything in the default zsh installation that'll turn the $ in your prompt into a %.
That 'something' could be in a few different forms. There may be code that is modifying the PS1 variable, which is essentially a synonym for PROMPT. Or there may be something hidden in scripts or functions called from ~/.zprofile (for example, oh-my-zsh does this, albeit usually from ~/.zshrc).
Some options
Try to trace what's happening in the zprofile file. One way to do that is to run these commands:
setopt xtrace
. ~/.zprofile
The main challenge here is often the sheer volume of the output; it may be difficult to find the spot where the prompt is being set.
Move the PROMPT assignment to the bottom of ~/.zprofile. Then your assignment should override whatever is setting the value earlier in the process.
Move the PROMPT assignment into ~/.zshrc. This is a better place for the assignment anyway, since .zshrc is only loaded for interactive shells, and setting the prompt is only used in interactive shells.
The code in ~/.zshrc is loaded after the code in ~/.zprofile, so this has a similar effect to the prior option.
If none of these options have any effect, then you'll need to look for other startup files, e.g. ~/.zlogin. There's a nice overview of how the various dot files are handled in zsh in this answer.

Function defined in .bashrc not recognized

I'm trying to make the function below available from a bash session, so I added it to .bashrc:
function del () { mkdir -p ~/.trash; mv "$#" ~/.trash; }
This works fine in a shell script, but when I call the .bashrc version from the terminal, like:
$ del test.txt
I always get this:
bash: syntax error near unexpected token `test.txt'
I am executing source ~/.bashrc every time I change the file, and I already tried different ways of writing the function, what's wrong with it? It works in a .sh file, so maybe a special syntax for .bashrc is required?
Turns out that the session kept an old alias with the same name, even after sourcing .bashrc again. type del helped me detecting it. Running unalias del or starting a new session solved the problem.
From the OP's ammended closing paragraph:
Turns out that the session kept an old alias with the same name, even
after sourcing .bashrc again. Type del helped me detecting it. Running
unalias del or starting a new session solved the problem.
(This answer exists only to keep this Q out of the unanswered category.)

virtualenv name not show in zsh prompt

Recently, I give a try on oh my zsh, everything looks good till I try virtualevn and virtualenvwrapper. When I activate a virtualenv (e.g test), on normal bash, I will see the virtualenv name like:
But when I switched to zsh, I cannot see virtualenv name. Even though, I alr add virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper in plugins of oh my zsh. I also checked the activate file of my virtualenv, it contains:
f [ -z "${VIRTUAL_ENV_DISABLE_PROMPT-}" ] ; then
if [ "x" != x ] ; then
PS1="(`basename \"$VIRTUAL_ENV\"`) $PS1"
export PS1
Is it because the comparision ["x" != x] return true?
I tried to echo $PS1 in activate file, and got this:
(test) %{$fg[magenta]%}%n%{$reset_color%}%{$fg[cyan]%}#%{$reset_color%}%{$fg[yellow]%}%m%{$reset_color%}%{$fg[red]%}:%{$reset_color%}%{$fg[cyan]%}%0~%{$reset_color%}%{$fg[red]%}|%{$reset_color%}%{$fg[cyan]%}⇒%{$reset_color%}
It seems the $PS1 is correct, but when I echo $PS1 in the terminal, the (test) is gone. It seems the $PS1 is override by something else!
Do this in ~/.zshrc:
1 -- add that plugin in addition to other plugins you have.
2 -- I'm using the POWERLEVEL9K theme. Maybe you theme
The best solution is to add the following to the end of your ~/.zshrc file:
This will override the value in virtualenv.plugin.zsh - no need to change that file.
My setting to display Python virtualenv name for the default (a.k.a. robbyrussell) theme is the following.
In the .zshrc file
virtualenv added in plugins
Add custom function:
function virtualenv_info {
[ $VIRTUAL_ENV ] && echo '('`basename $VIRTUAL_ENV`') '
Navigate to your theme
My theme is the default theme for zsh:
$ vim ~/.oh-my-zsh/themes/robbyrussell.zsh-theme
Add this command right after existing PROMPT commands:
$ source ~/.zshrc
PS: You can add your name or a few space before or after the PROMPT+.
Hope that helps!
Found the problem, it's due to the theme. The theme I used in the above case is pygmalion, it won't allow u to change $PS1.
After changed to robbyrussell theme, I can change $PS1 in terminal, but still cannot see the virtualenv name. After a while debugging, I found that by default the virtualenv plugin of oh my zsh disable the prompt:
# disables prompt mangling in virtual_env/bin/activate
So just comment out the line in virtualenv plugin, problem solved.
As per this guide here
First add virtualenv dependency under plugin in file .zshrc
If this doesn't work for you, then it means that the theme(one of oh-my-zsh theme) you have selected doesn't include virtualenv name in bash prompt so try second step.
Go to file ~/.oh-my-zsh/themes/YOUR_THEME_NAME.zsh-theme and add this in base prompt
NOTE: virtualenv_prompt_info is the name of function which is declared in ~/.oh-my-zsh/plugins/virtualenv/virtualenv.plugin.zsh. If your plugin file have different function name then change it accordingly.
Or you can declare your own function in ~/.zshrc file as shown in this guide
If you are using conda to start your virtual environment the envorionment variable will be different. To figure out the name of the environment that holds your virtaulenv name type printenv and look through the output. For me it is CONDA_PROMPT_MODIFIER
after you know the name of the variable open .zshrc and add this function
function virtualenv_info {
and below that add this line
close the editor and type source .zshrc
In the case you installed Anaconda using Homebrew:
brew tap homebrew/cask-versions
brew cask install anaconda
And you are using POWERLEVEL9K theme
git clone https://github.com/bhilburn/powerlevel9k.git ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/themes/powerlevel9k
All you need to do is add this line to the end of .zshrc :
POWERLEVEL9K_RIGHT_PROMPT_ELEMENTS=(status root_indicator background_jobs history time anaconda)
There's no need for virtualenv plugin.
In case you already had conda installed for bash and you get:
zsh: command not found: conda
Run this:
~/anaconda3/bin/conda init zsh
I made it work following this link: https://askubuntu.com/a/387098
I reproduce the answer below.
How the prompt is changed is defined in the script bin/activate inside the virtual environment directory. This file is created by virtualenv from a template. Unfortunatelly, the only way of prompt modification provided by the template is prepending (env name) or whatever is set with --prompt.
To modify the prompt in the way you want, I'd suggest circumventing the setting of the prompt in bin/activate and modify the definition of PROMPT in your theme file.
First add the following to your.zsh-theme (or .zshrc)
function virtenv_indicator {
if [[ -z $VIRTUAL_ENV ]] then
add-zsh-hook precmd virtenv_indicator
and add %(1V.(%1v).) in front of the second line of the definition of PROMPT. It should then look like this:
%(1V.(%1v).)%{$fg_bold[grey]%}[%{$reset_color%}%{$fg_bold[${host_color}]%}%n#%m%{$reset_color%}%{$fg_bold[grey]%}]%{$reset_color%} %{$fg_bold[blue]%}%10c%{$reset_color%} $(git_prompt_info) $(git_remote_status)
%{$fg_bold[cyan]%}❯%{$reset_color%} '
If you want some color you could add %(1V.%{$fs_bold[yellow]%}(%1v)%{$reset_color%}.) for example.
virtenv_indicator will be called each time before the prompt is created. It checks if $VIRTUAL_ENV is set and not empty. If so, it sets the first element of the $psvar array to $VIRTUAL_ENV with everything before and including the last / removed (like basename $VIRTUAL_ENV but less expensive)
In the definition of PROMPT %(1V.(%1v).) checks if the first element of $psvar is set and not empty (%(1V.true-text.false-text)) and adds the content of the this element plus some parentheses ((%1v))
export VIRTUAL_ENV_DISABLE_PROMPT=yes disables any prompt setting by bin/activate scripts.
if you use zsh and pyenv, put this into ~/.zshrc
eval "$(pyenv init -)"
eval "$(pyenv virtualenv-init -)"
#export PS1='($(pyenv version-name)) '$PS1
function updatePrompt {
if [[ "$(pyenv version-name)" != "system" ]]; then
# the next line should be double quote; single quote would not work for me
export PS1="($(pyenv version-name)) "$BASE_PROMPT
export PROMPT_COMMAND='updatePrompt'
precmd() { eval '$PROMPT_COMMAND' } # this line is necessary for zsh
I am also using Oh My Zsh with the pygmalion theme. I had to edit the pygmalion script to add the virtual environment name before the prompt name.
open ~/.oh-my-zsh/themes/pygmalion.zsh-theme, modify the prompt_pygmalion_precmd function as following:
setopt localoptions extendedglob
local gitinfo=$(git_prompt_info)
local gitinfo_nocolor=${gitinfo//\%\{[^\}]##\}}
local exp_nocolor="$(print -P \"$base_prompt_nocolor$gitinfo_nocolor$post_prompt_nocolor\")"
local prompt_length=${#exp_nocolor}
local python_venv="($(echo $CONDA_DEFAULT_ENV)) "
The following steps should solve the problem:
open ~/.p10k.zsh.
If you use only the left prompt, make the following changes:
# =========================[ Line #1 ]=========================
os_icon # os identifier
dir # current directory
vcs # git status
# =========================[ Line #2 ]=========================
newline # \n
prompt_char # prompt symbol
virtualenv venv .venv env # show the venv on the second line
Add the following line, preferably after you adjust POWERLEVEL9K_VIRTUALENV_SHOW_WITH_PYENV:
Save the .p10k.zsh.
Restart the terminal.
Now, when you activate the virtual environment (on macOS source my_venv/bin/activate), then the name of the virtual environment (in my case, my_venv) and the version of Python installed on it (3.9.13) will appear after a beautiful Python symbol. Have a look at the attached screenshot.
I am using oh-my-zsh pygmalion them, and this works for me:
add virtualenv plugin in ~/.zshrc
open ~/.oh-my-zsh/themes/pygmalion.zsh-theme, modify the prompt_pygmalion_precmd function to this:
setopt localoptions extendedglob
local gitinfo=$(git_prompt_info)
local gitinfo_nocolor=${gitinfo//\%\{[^\}]##\}}
local exp_nocolor="$(print -P \"$base_prompt_nocolor$gitinfo_nocolor$post_prompt_nocolor\")"
local prompt_length=${#exp_nocolor}
local python_venv=$(virtualenv_prompt_info)
Basically just add $(virtualenv_prompt_info) to your PROMPT to wherever you prefer, here I added it to the very beginning of my PROMPT.
You do not need to create new function, as per documentation - this function is created for you.
But You still need to edit theme file, as mentioned above, just enter correct function name - virtualenv_prompt_info:
After playing with the surround answers, I found the following to be the best for my use case. This checks the $VIRTUAL_ENV_PROMPT and $VIRTUAL_ENV variables every time you change directories and sets the prompt with the correct venv info.
function cd() {
builtin cd "$#"
if [[ -n "$VIRTUAL_ENV_PROMPT" ]] ; then
elif [[ -n "$VIRTUAL_ENV" ]] ; then
export PS1='($(pyenv version-name)) '$PS1
source & link to issue #135 in pyenv-virtualenv repo:
Back to 2023 : here something that worked for me with the theme .
Search the line for "plugins" and add virtualenv (if you are using this one)
plugins=(git python brew macos colored-man-pages virtualenv vscode)
Now look for the ZSH-Theme and use
Reload your terminal or kill your Visual Studio code window (reloading the terminal into VS cod didn't display the change for me...)

vi .bash_profile function mkdircd

# vi .bash_profile
function mkdircd () { mkdir -p "$#" && eval cd "\"\$$#\"";
I gave the above command in .bash_profile
But when I am typing mkdircd new_directory into the terminal I am getting following error
mkdircd: command not found
You may need to just reload your .bash_profile. Try this:
source ~/.bash_profile
Alternatively, you can save yourself a few keystrokes by typing this:
. ~/.bash_profile
The reason that you need to source the .bash_profile after you make changes to it is because the terminal window does not recognize these changes. You can also just open a new terminal window and your recent .bash_profile changes will be in effect in the new window.
If sourcing the .bash_profile still does not fix it, try changing your above code to this:
function mkdircd() { mkdir -p "$#" && cd "$#"; }

How to "source" ~/.bashrc automatically once it has been edited?

I would like to create an alias that does the following:
Opens TextMate with ~/.bashrc and allows me to edit it
Once I close TextMate, "sources" ~/.bashrc (so if I add a new alias, for example, it will be available immediately)
I tried the following:
alias b="/usr/bin/mate -w ~/.bashrc; source ~/.bashrc"
but it doesn't work: when I close TextMate, the shell doesn't return.
Any ideas?
I hesitate to suggest it, but if this is a feature you really want, you can make something similar happen by setting the PROMPT_COMMAND variable to something clever.
PROMPT_COMMAND is run every time the shell shows the shell prompt So, if you're okay with the shells updating only after you hit Enter or execute a command, this should nearly do it.
Put export PROMPT_COMMAND="source ~/.bashrc" into your ~/.bashrc file. Re-source it into whichever shell sessions you want the automatically updating behavior to work in.
This is wasteful -- it re-sources the file with every prompt. If you can get your editor to leave the old version in a specific file, say ~/.bashrc~ (where the first ~ means your home directory and the last ~ is just a ~, a common choice for backup filenames) then you could do something more like (untested):
export PROMPT_COMMAND="[ ~/.bashrc -nt ~/.bashrc~ ] && touch ~/.bashrc~ && source ~/.bashrc "
then it would stat(2) the two files on every run, check which one is newer, and re-source only if the ~/.bashrc is newer than its backup. The touch command is in there to make the backup look newer and fail the test again.