Bash Emacs Mode Shortcuts - Quick Reference

I always forget these shortcuts, and I always spend a couple of minutes on google trying to find the one I need. I’ve decided it’s best to have them here, for personal reference, and for anyone else who might find them useful.

  • <Ctrl-u> Clear the line you’re typing
  • <Ctrl-r> Search the history by typing letters
  • <Ctrl-w> Delete previous word (<Alt+Backspace> Works too)
  • <Ctrl-a> Goto beginning of the line
  • <Ctrl-e> Goto end of the line
  • <Ctrl-b> Move back one character.
  • <Alt-b> Move back one word.
  • <Ctrl-f> Move forward one character.
  • <Alt-f> Move forward one word.
  • <Ctrl-]>x Where x is any character, moves the cursor forward to the next occurance of x.
  • <Alt-Ctrl-]>x Where x is any character, moves the cursor backwards to the previous occurance of x.
  • <Ctrl-t> Swap the character before the cursor
  • <Ctrl-l> Clear the screen
  • <Ctrl-u> Delete from the cursor to the beginning of the line.
  • <Ctrl-k> Delete from the cursor to the end of the line.
  • <Ctrl-w> Delete from the cursor to the start of the word.
  • <Ctrl-y> Pastes text from the clipboard.
  • <Ctrl-l> Clear the screen leaving the current line at the top of the screen.
  • <Ctrl-_> Undo the last changes. (<Ctrl-x><Ctrl-u> Does the same)
  • <Alt-r> Undo all changes to the line.
  • <Alt-Ctrl-e> Expand command line.
  • <Ctrl-r> Incremental reverse search of history.
  • <Alt-p> Non-incremental reverse search of history.
  • <Esc-Del> Delete previous word (may not work, instead try Esc followed by Backspace)
  • <Esc>. Take the last argument of the last command

You can also type

$ bind -P

to get the list of the shortcut keys…

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