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Adding Python Virtual Env support to Synth Shell

published 01/02/2021 in Python | tags : Python, Bash, Linux, #100DaysToOffload

  Estimated read time: 2 min.

Python Virtual Environments

Be it for work or personal things, I’ve always got what seems like 30 or 40 different Python virtualenv’s kicking around, and the default way that virtualenv’s handle this is by pre-pending the environment to the PS1 shell prompt in a completely hacky way.

So if you’ve done any amount of customization to your shell prompt this gets blown away or makes your shell look like garbage.

Synth Shell

I use Synth Shell a very Hackerman themed shell, although I do like the aesthetic and I wanted to add support for showing my python virtual environments while not breaking completely the functionality of Synth Shell.



Modifications required

Synth shell installs itself into ~/.config/synth-shell/ by default. So the file were looking for is called

We’re going to need to open that up in a text editor and find the following lines:

if [ ! -z "$(getGitBranch)" ] && $SSP_GIT_SHOW; then

So here we have where the prompt figures out if your in a git repo or not, we’ll add our own condition statements here to see if were in a virtualenv or not. Below this code-block you will want to add the following to show your virtual environment.

if [ -n "${VIRTUAL_ENV}" ]; then
    SSP_PS1_VIRTENV="\e[0;31m($(basename ${VIRTUAL_ENV}))\e[0m"

What it should look like

synthshell venv

what a virtual environment looks like with synth shell now

If all went well, the next time you source / activate / workon / pipenv shell or poetry shell your prompt should still remain the same, but also additionally display your virtual environment.