The Bash command line isn’t always easy to navigate since you can’t use your mouse. With that in mind, we wanted to create a useful list of emacs-mode shortcuts to help you navigate it!

emacs editing mode – CTRL delete/move character shortcuts

These are basic commands that use the control keyboard button. Basically these are ways to delete a character.

Shortcut What it Does
CTRL-B Allows you to move backward one character without deleting
CTRL-F Allows you to move forward one character without deleting
DEL Lets you delete one character backwards
CTRL-D Lets you delete one character forwards

emacs editing mode – escape delete/move/kill keyboard shortcuts

These are basic commands that use the escape keyboard button. These commands allow you to move or delete entire words.

Shortcut What it Does
ESC-B Allows you to move backward one word without deleting
ESC-F Allows you to move forward one word without deleting
ESC-DEL
ESC-CTRL-H
Lets you delete or “kill” one word backwards
ESC-D Lets you delete or “kill” one word forward

emacs editing mode – line command move/kill/delete shortcuts

These are basic commands that use the CTRL keyboard buttons. These commands allow you to move around, delete or “kill” an entire line.

Shortcut What it Does
CTRL-A Move cursor to the beginning of the line
CTRL-E Move to the end of the line
CTRL-K Kill forward to the end of a line
CTRL-U Kill the line from the beginning to this point

emacs editing mode – using historical information

These are basic commands that use the CTRL and ESC keyboard buttons. These commands recall your history.

Shortcut What it Does
CTRL-R Search Backwards
CTRL-P Move to the previous line
CTRL-N Move to the next line
ESC-< Move to the first line in the history file
ESC-> Move to the last line in the history file

emacs editing mode – completion shortcuts

The textual commands help you autocomplete names of commands, user names, file names, functions, etc… When you type in a word of text followed by TAB, bash will try to finish the filename for you. This is one of the most powerful but less used bash shortcuts.

Shortcut What it Does
TAB Try to finish the text
ESC-TAB Attempt the completion from previous commands in the history list
ESC-? List all the possible completions
ESC-/ Attempt the filename completion
ESC-~ Attempt the username completion
ESC-$ Attempt a variable completion
ESC-@ Attempt hostname completion
ESC-! Attempt the command completion
CTRL-X / List the possible filename completions
CTRL-X ~ List the possible username completions
CTRL-X $ List the possible variable completions
CTRL-X @ List the possible hostname completions
CTRL-X ! list the possible command completions

The SmartFile Favorite Bash Shortcuts

These are some of our favorite emac shortcuts here at SmartFile. Enjoy!

Shortcut What it Does
CTRL-Y Undo the last word/line deleted or “killed”
CTRL-L Clears the screen and puts the line your working on at the top
CTRL-T Transpose 2 characters on either side of a point and move that point forward by one
CTRL-V Quoted insert
ESC-C Capitalize this word after this point
ESC-U Make the letters in this word all uppercase after this point
ESC-L Make the letters in this word all lowercase after this point

Overall, we hope these bash shortcuts help save you some time in your day. We have a few other shortcuts as well, including FTP commands and FTP error codes. Check them out!

Want a Printer Friendly Version to Share or Hang on Your Wall?

  Easy to read while you code from your desk
  Don’t worry about Googling for an Bash shortcut ever again

Sources: Internal SmartFile I.T. and Learning the bash Shell by Cameron Newham & Bill Rosenblatt

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on RedditBuffer this pagePrint this pageEmail this to someone

Related Posts

Related Topics & Tags: Quick Tips

About Curtis Peterson

I'm the Digital Marketing Manager for SmartFile who loves content, email marketing and web analytics. As a child, I built awesome websites with animated starry night backgrounds and multi-colored font headers on AngelFire and GeoCities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *