Ubuntu: Is there any manual to get the list of bash shortcut keys?



Question:

There are many shortcuts that I use while interacting with bash command line to make the work easier and faster.

Like:

  • ctrl+L: to clear the screen
  • ctrl+a/ctrl+e: to move start/end of the line
  • ctrl+r: to search the history of command just writing few of chars
  • ctrl+u/ctrl+y: to cut/paste the line.

and many many more, that I want to know and which will definitely useful to learn.

I want to know from where can I get the list of these shortcuts in Ubuntu? Is there any manual which lists these shortcuts?

NOTE:

I want to get the list of shortcuts and their actions at one place. It will really help to learn many of them in a small duration of time. So is there way we can get the list like this? Though thanks for answer given here..


Solution:1

The defaults are in man bash, along with details as to what each command does. See BroSlow's answer if you have changed your key bindings.

   Commands for Moving         beginning-of-line (C-a)                Move to the start of the current line.         end-of-line (C-e)                Move to the end of the line.         forward-char (C-f)                Move forward a character.         backward-char (C-b)                Move back a character.         forward-word (M-f)                Move forward to the end of the next word.  Words are composed of alphanumeric characters (letters and digits).         backward-word (M-b)                Move back to the start of the current or previous word.  Words are composed of alphanumeric characters (letters and digits).         shell-forward-word                Move forward to the end of the next word.  Words are delimited by non-quoted shell metacharacters.         shell-backward-word                Move back to the start of the current or previous word.  Words are delimited by non-quoted shell metacharacters.         clear-screen (C-l)                Clear the screen leaving the current line at the top of the screen.  With an argument, refresh the current line without clearing the screen.  

...

       reverse-search-history (C-r)                Search backward starting at the current line and moving `up' through the history as necessary.  This is an incremental search.  

...

       unix-line-discard (C-u)                Kill backward from point to the beginning of the line.  The killed text is saved on the kill-ring.  

...

       yank (C-y)            Yank the top of the kill ring into the buffer at point.  

EDIT

These commands are all in a contiguous section of the manual, so you can browse it from Commands for Moving. Alternatively, you can save this entire section to a text file with

man bash | awk '/^   Commands for Moving$/{print_this=1} /^   Programmable Completion$/{print_this=0} print_this==1{sub(/^   /,""); print}' > bash_commands.txt  

(N.B. this prints the whole section, including commands with no default keyboard shortcut.)

Explanation of awk code

  • On the (only) occurrence of Commands for Moving, set the variable print_this to 1.
  • On the (only) occurrence of Programmable Completion, which is the following section, set the variable to 0.
  • If the variable is 1, then get rid of the leading whitespace (three spaces), and print the line.


Solution:2

You can list all shortcuts in your current bash shell by calling the bash builtin bind with the -P option.

e.g.

bind -P | grep clear  clear-screen can be found on "\C-l".  

To change them, you can do something like

 bind '\C-p:clear-screen'  

And put it in an init file to make it permanent (note you can only have a key combination bound to one thing at a time, so it will lose any binding it had previously).


Solution:3

The following command gives a nice columnar output showing the use and shortcuts.

bind -P|grep "can be found"|sort | awk '{printf "%-40s", $1} {for(i=6;i<=NF;i++){printf "%s ", $i}{printf"\n"}}'  

This gives an output, which looks like

abort                                   "\C-g", "\C-x\C-g", "\e\C-g".   accept-line                             "\C-j", "\C-m".   backward-char                           "\C-b", "\eOD", "\e[D".   backward-delete-char                    "\C-h", "\C-?".   backward-kill-line                      "\C-x\C-?".   backward-kill-word                      "\e\C-h", "\e\C-?".   backward-word                           "\e\e[D", "\e[1;5D", "\e[5D", "\eb".   beginning-of-history                    "\e<".   beginning-of-line                       "\C-a", "\eOH", "\e[1~", "\e[H".   call-last-kbd-macro                     "\C-xe".   capitalize-word                         "\ec".   character-search-backward               "\e\C-]".   character-search                        "\C-]".   clear-screen                            "\C-l".   complete                                "\C-i", "\e\e".   ...  

Get this output into a text file using following command

bind -P|grep "can be found"|sort | awk '{printf "%-40s", $1} {for(i=6;i<=NF;i++){printf "%s ", $i}{printf"\n"}}'>shortcuts  

The file is created in your $HOME directory.

Explanation

  • bind -P
    :gives all the shortcuts.
  • grep "can be found"
    :removes all non assigned shortcuts
  • sort
    :sorts out the output
  • awk '{printf "%-40s", $1}
    :prints the first column(i.e use) and justifies text
  • {for(i=6;i<=NF;i++){printf "%s ", $i}{printf"\n"}}'
    :This is part of the previous command, it removes first 5 character from second column and prints the remaining stuff(i.e shortcuts)
  •  >shourtcuts
    : Puts the output into a nice text file created in home dir and named shortcuts.

You can get the idea of how the command works by running following commands.

bind -P  bind -P|grep "can be found"  bind -P|grep "can be found"|sort  bind -P|grep "can be found"|sort | awk '{printf "%-40s", $1} {for(i=6;i<=NF;i++){printf "%s ", $i}{printf"\n"}}'  


Solution:4

Okay I've got a way to get the list of shortcuts by filtering the bash manual. It will also give the description what exactly each shortcut does. Thanks to Sparhawk who enlightened me to find the solution. What I needed was to learn the use of regular expressions although I'm still not good in it :)

So here is the one line command:

man bash | grep "(.-.*)$" -A1  

Here is a small extraction of the output:

   beginning-of-line (C-a)            Move to the start of the current line.     end-of-line (C-e)            Move to the end of the line.     forward-char (C-f)            Move forward a character.     backward-char (C-b)            Move back a character.     forward-word (M-f)            Move forward to the end of the next word.  Words are composed of alphanumeric characters (letters and digits).     backward-word (M-b)            Move back to the start of the current or previous word.  Words are composed of alphanumeric characters (letters and digits).     clear-screen (C-l)            Clear the screen leaving the current line at the top of the screen.  With an argument, refresh the current line without clearing the     previous-history (C-p)            Fetch the previous command from the history list, moving back in the list.     next-history (C-n)            Fetch the next command from the history list, moving forward in the list.     beginning-of-history (M-<)            Move to the first line in the history.     end-of-history (M->)            Move to the end of the input history, i.e., the line currently being entered.     reverse-search-history (C-r)            Search backward starting at the current line and moving `up' through the history as necessary.  This is an incremental search.     forward-search-history (C-s)            Search forward starting at the current line and moving `down' through the history as necessary.  This is an incremental search.  

Now to save the shortcuts to a file:

man bash | grep "(.-.*)$" -A1 > bash_shortcuts  

That's all I needed. I just wanted to know the shortcut keys assigned to bash and I've not reconfigured any keys as BroSlow asked me.

Once again thanks to all for their contributions.

Note:

If someone wants to enhance this, he/she is most welcomed. I've only mentioned the way to list those shortcuts which have been assigned by some keys. So if someone knows how to list those actions which have not been assigned with the description using this way, is most welcomed :)


Solution:5

As long as the bash manual is not modified in a way to make this command improper(which is not very likely), the following command will show all default shortcuts for bash.

man bash | grep -A294 'Commands for Moving'  

This gives an output which looks like:

 Commands for Moving     beginning-of-line (C-a)            Move to the start of the current line.     end-of-line (C-e)            Move to the end of the line.     forward-char (C-f)            Move forward a character.     backward-char (C-b)            Move back a character.     forward-word (M-f)            Move forward to the end of the next word.  Words are composed of alphanumeric characters (letters and digits).     backward-word (M-b)            Move back to the start of the current or previous word.  Words are composed of alphanumeric characters (letters  and            digits).     shell-forward-word            Move forward to the end of the next word.  Words are delimited by non-quoted shell metacharacters.     shell-backward-word            Move back to the start of the current or previous word.  Words are delimited by non-quoted shell metacharacters.     clear-screen (C-l)            Clear  the  screen  leaving  the  current line at the top of the screen.  With an argument, refresh the current line            without clearing the screen.     redraw-current-line            Refresh the current line.    Commands for Manipulating the History     accept-line (Newline, Return)            Accept the line regardless of where the cursor is.  If this line is non-empty, add it to the history list  according            to  the state of the HISTCONTROL variable.  If the line is a modified history line, then restore the history line to            its original state.     previous-history (C-p)            Fetch the previous command from the history list, moving back in the list.     next-history (C-n)  ...  

If the bash manual is modified ,this command can easily be changed to fit the needs.


Solution:6

it's easy, you just have to click Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts on menubar Terminal and you'll get all of keyboard shortcuts. See this picture: Keyboard Shortcuts


Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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