Bash Shortcuts

The Bash key combos are also used in Emacs.

Note that the Ctrl-KEY combo operate on basic units that are independepent of what you are editing (characters, lines etc). Meta chracters (Alt-KEY combos) are used for operations related to the units defined by language (words, sentences, paragraphs).

In the Following illustration, C-Key stands for Ctrl-Key, M-Key stands for Alt-Key

C-f Forward one char

C-b Back one char


M-f Forward one word

M-b Back one word


C-p Previous line

C-n Next line


M-p Beginning of sentence

M-n End of sentence


C-a Beginning of line

C-e End of line


Bash, which is the default shell in Linux contains a whole lot of key bindings which makes it really easy to use . The most commonly used shortcuts are listed below : 

CTRL Key Bound

Ctrl + a – Jump to the start of the line

Ctrl + b – Move back a char

Ctrl + c – Terminate the command

Ctrl + d – Delete from under the cursor

Ctrl + e – Jump to the end of the line

Ctrl + f – Move forward a char

Ctrl + k – Delete to EOL

Ctrl + l – Clear the screen

Ctrl + r – Search the history backwards

Ctrl + R – Search the history backwards with multi occurrence

Ctrl + u – Delete backward from cursor

Ctrl + xx – Move between EOL and current cursor position

Ctrl + x @ – Show possible hostname completions

Ctrl + z – Suspend/ Stop the command

ALT Key Bound

Alt + < – Move to the first line in the history

Alt + > – Move to the last line in the history

Alt + ? – Show current completion list

Alt + * – Insert all possible completions

Alt + / – Attempt to complete filename

Alt + . – Yank last argument to previous command

Alt + b – Move backward

Alt + c – Capitalize the word

Alt + d – Delete word

Alt + f – Move forward

Alt + l – Make word lowercase

Alt + n – Search the history forwards non-incremental

Alt + p – Search the history backwards non-incremental

Alt + r – Recall command

Alt + t – Move words around

Alt + u – Make word uppercase

Alt + backspace – Delete backward from cursor

More Special Key bindings

Here 2T means Press TAB twice. And $ is the bash prompt.

$ 2T – Display all available commands(common)

string 2T – Display all available commands starting with string.

$ /2T – Show entire directory structure including hidden ones.

$ 2T – Show only sub-directories inside including hidden ones.

$ *2T – Show only sub-directories inside excluding hidden ones.

$ ~2T – Show all present users on system from “/etc/passwd”

$ $2T – Show all sys variables

$ @2T – Show all entries from “/etc/hosts”

$ =2T – List output like ls or dir