I am using the terminal for some debugging and I noticed that it has stopped displaying my user before the path. Now its displaying (null) like so:

(null):mspgcc-examples dean$

Whats changed? As i've changed no configuration to change it. Viewing the shell variable $PS1 I get the following results:

(null):mspgcc-examples dean$ echo $PS1
\h:\W \u\$
(null):mspgcc-examples dean$ 
  • please, provide your $PS1 value
    – Eir Nym
    Mar 16, 2013 at 15:14
  • Is $PS1 a shell variable?
    – Dean
    Mar 16, 2013 at 15:53
  • 1
    Yes, use echo $PS1 to display its value. Also: try to open a new tab in Terminal (with Cmd-T) and check the prompt there.
    – nohillside
    Mar 16, 2013 at 16:12
  • And please check whether apple.stackexchange.com/questions/43063/… solves your problem
    – nohillside
    Mar 16, 2013 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


You can read through the thread on Apple Discussion Group for details. The most important that some routers doesn't like computer names which can't be part of valid DNS name (English letters, numbers, dashes, underscores).

To name my Mac I use something like Eir-Mac or EirMac and have no problems.

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