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Keyboard Shortcuts For Bash

Last Updated May 3rd 2022, 12:41:16 am

Here is a list of keyboard shortcuts available for the bash shell. They are organized by category.

Starting/Stopping Processes

Ctrl+C

Interrupt (kill) the current foreground process running in in the terminal. This sends the SIGINT signal to the process, which is technically just a request—most processes will honor it, but some may ignore it.[1]

Ctrl+Z

Suspend the current foreground process running in bash. This sends the SIGTSTP signal to the process. To return the process to the foreground later, use the fg process_name command.[1:1]

Ctrl+D

Close the bash shell. This sends an EOF (End-of-file) marker to bash, and bash exits when it receives this marker. This is similar to running the exit command.[1:2]

Controlling the Screen

Ctrl+L

Clear the screen. This is similar to running the “clear” command.

Ctrl+S

Stop all output to the screen. This is particularly useful when running commands with a lot of long, verbose output, but you don’t want to stop the command itself with Ctrl+C.

Ctrl+Q

Resume output to the screen after stopping it with Ctrl+S.

Moving the Cursor

Ctrl+A

Go to the beginning of the line.

Ctrl+E

Go to the end of the line.

Alt+B

Go left (back) one word.

Ctrl+B

Go left (back) one character.

Alt+F

Go right (forward) one word.

Ctrl+F

Go right (forward) one character.

Ctrl+XX

Move between the beginning of the line and the current position of the cursor. This allows you to press Ctrl+XX to return to the start of the line, change something, and then press Ctrl+XX to go back to your original cursor position. To use this shortcut, hold the Ctrl key and tap the X key twice.

Deleting Text

Ctrl+D

Delete the character under the cursor.

Alt+D

Delete all characters after the cursor on the current line.

Ctrl+H

Delete the character before the cursor.

Fix Typos

Alt+T

Swap the current word with the previous word.

Ctrl+T

Swap the last two characters before the cursor with each other. You can use this to quickly fix typos when you type two characters in the wrong order.

Ctrl+_

Undo your last key press. You can repeat this to undo multiple times.

Cutting & Pasting

Ctrl+W

Cut the word before the cursor, adding it to the clipboard.

Ctrl+K

Cut the part of the line after the cursor, adding it to the clipboard.

Ctrl+U

Cut the part of the line before the cursor, adding it to the clipboard.

Ctrl+Y

Paste the last thing you cut from the clipboard. The y here stands for “yank”.

Capitalizing Characters

Alt+U

Capitalize every character from the cursor to the end of the current word, converting the characters to upper case.

Alt+L

Uncapitalize every character from the cursor to the end of the current word, converting the characters to lower case.

Alt+C

Capitalize the character under the cursor. Your cursor will move to the end of the current word.

Command History

Ctrl+R

Recall the last command matching the characters you provide. Press this shortcut and start typing to search your bash history for a command.

Ctrl+O

Run a command you found with Ctrl+R.

Ctrl+G

Leave history searching mode without running a command.


  1. https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/ubuntu/keyboard-shortcuts-for-bash-command-shell-for-ubuntu-debian-suse-redhat-linux-etc/ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎