Shell prompt guidelines

The following guidelines cover how to write Shell prompts on MDN pages.

Shell prompts in brief

A shell is a program that waits for you to type in a command and then press the return key. To indicate which commands you should type, MDN documentation lists them in a code block, similar to code examples. Such a block looks like this:

# This may take a while...
hg clone firefox
cd firefox


There are a some guidelines to follow when writing a shell code block:

  • Do not include a "$" or ">" at the beginning of a shell instruction. It confuses more than it helps and it is not useful when copying the instructions.
  • Comments start with "#".
  • Choose the "Bash" syntax highlighter.

Good shell prompt examples on MDN

Our Django server-side development docs show good practice presentation of shell prompt commands, etc. on MDN. See Setting up a Django development environment for example.