Emacs: Tramp doesn’t work

If the account you’re connecting to uses some weird fancy shell prompt, then there is a good chance that this is what makes tramp trip.

Log in as root, then enter

PS1="> "

(that’s a normal, standard shell (ZSH, BASH, younameit) prompt, one that tramp will understand)
then switch to the user account, and launch emacs -q (to make sure that your .emacs is not causing this mess) and try to C-x C-f /sudo:root@localhost:/etc/hosts and see what’s what.

You can (not recommended) also customize the regexp that defines what tramp expects :

M-x customize-variable RET tramp-terminal-prompt-regexp

My approach :

  1. Make sure the variable tramp-terminal-type is set to “dumb”

M-x customize-variable RET tramp-terminal-type

  1. Test that in your .*shrc and serve the correct prompt :
case "$TERM" in
    PS1="> "
    PS1="my fancy multi-line \n prompt > "
    PS1="> "

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