Working quickly with some Useful Terminal and Bash Shortcuts

  • HOME
  • >
  • BASH
  • >
  • Working quickly with some Useful Terminal and Bash Shortcuts
Last Updated: 

The other day, one of my friend was doing some stuff on its Mac OSX Term without using any shortcuts. I suggest some of them (which are POSIX, GNU or Shell keys combinations) to him and he answer me : Why don't you post it on shell-tips.com ?!. So, here we are.

Those shortcuts are for VT100 Terminals and Bash shell.

Control Keys combinations** (CTRL+KEY)

  1. ctrl+a : move your cursor to the beginning of the line
  2. ctrl+e : move your cursor to the end of the line
  3. ctrl+k : delete any characters from your cursor to the end of the line
  4. ctrl+u : delete any characters from your cursor to the beginning of the line
  5. ctrl+w : delete previous word
  6. ctrl+t : transpose two previous characters
  7. ctrl+y : yank/recover the last deletion
  8. ctrl+d : delete one character at the cursor position
  9. ctrl+h : delete one character before the cursor
  10. ctrl+f : move forward (or use the right arrow ! 😃
  11. ctrl+b : move backward (or use the left arrow ! 😃
  12. ctrl+r : find character sequence in history (completion mode)
  13. ctrl+g : escape from completion mode
  14. ctrl+v : Literal next (LNEXT)

:point_right> LNEXT interpret the next character as a string. eg : to symbolize a CR+LF you must use the key combination ctrl+v return which will print the special character ^M.

Escape Keys combinations** (ESC+KEY)

  1. esc+d : delete from the cursor position to the end of the word
  2. esc+f : move forward a word
  3. esc+b : move backward a word
  4. esc+t : transpose two adjacent words

Other common keys

  1. Use up/down arrows to move thru the bash command history
  2. Use left/right arrows to move on the current line
  3. Use tabulation key (TAB) for auto-complete a command name or a file name
  4. Use exclamation key + command name for repeat last similar command (ex. : !vi will recall the last vi command)
Related bash posts that you may like
What is the Bash Null Command?
Learn about the Bash null command, also known as the POSIX shell colon command. This post cover concrete use cases and pitfalls to avoid.
How To Format Date and Time in Linux, macOS, and Bash?
Find out how to manipulate date and time on linux and macOS systems as well as natively in the Bash shell. This post covers all you need to know to format a date from your shell.
How To Use Option as Meta Key in macOS Terminal?
The Meta Key is a modifier key that can be quite helpful to improve your productivity while working in a terminal and bash. This post cover how to enable from the command line the Meta Key in macOS Terminal.