When working with multiple terminal windows, it is sometimes useful to have some kind of heading that indicates what each terminal contains. During our last showcase, we used this to let the audience know what each of our three terminal windows is showing.

iterm badges

Here is a short tutorial on how to set this up, so that you can set the badge easily from the command line. We assume that you are using iTerm on a Mac.

  1. Install the iTerm shell integration - if you are using bash, here is all you need to run

    curl -L https://iterm2.com/shell_integration/install_shell_integration.sh | bash

    this will add some includes into your ~/.bash_profile. The website contains explanations for other shells as well (e.g. zsh)

  2. Add the following function to your ~/.bash_profile (or ~/.zshrc)

    function iterm2_print_user_vars() {
        iterm2_set_user_var badge $badge

    thereby you set a iTerm user var badge that reads the content from the $badge shell variable.

  3. reload your shell profile via

    source ~/.bash_profile
  4. In your iTerm profile settings, set \(user.badge)

    iTerm profile settings for the badge

  5. You can now set your badge in your terminal via

    export badge='hello badge'

    set badge in terminal

Have fun!

Further References

  • https://technology.customink.com/blog/2016/07/18/how-to-add-badges-to-iterm2/