Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Unix / Linux shortcut keys

Shortcuts are designed to help shorten the time required to perform frequently used commands or actions. In the below sections I have listed keyboard shortcut keys that can be performed by pressing two or more keys at once. In addition to keyboard shortcut keys, I have also listed command line shortcut keys that can be typed in at the shell.

Please note that the below shortcut keys and command line shortcuts will not work on all variants of Unix and/or Linux.

Keyboard shortcut keys

  • CTRL + B Moves the cursor backward one character.
  • CTRL + C Cancels the currently running command.
  • CTRL + D Logs out of the current session.
  • CTRL + F Moves the cursor forward one character.
  • CTRL + H Erase one character. Similar to pressing backspace.
  • CTRL + P Paste previous line and/or lines.
  • CTRL + S Stops all output on screen (XOFF).
  • CTRL + Q Turns all output stopped on screen back on (XON).
  • CTRL + U Erases the complete line.
  • CTRL + W Deletes the last word typed in. For example, if you typed 'mv file1 file2' this shortcut would delete file2.
  • CTRL + Z Cancels current operation, moves back a directory and/or takes the current operation and moves it to the background. See bg command for additional information about background.

Command line shortcuts

In addition to the below command line shortcuts, it is also helpful to use the alias command that allows you to specify a keyword for frequently used commands or mistakes.

  • ~ Moves to the user's home directory.
  • !! Repeats the line last entered at the shell. See history command for previous commands.
  • !$ Repeats the last argument for the command last used. See history command for previous commands.
  • reset Resets the terminal if terminal screen is not displaying correctly.
  • shutdown -h now Remotely or locally shuts the system down.

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