Bash and Zsh Shortcuts

Bash and Zsh Shortcuts

2013, Jun 06    

I’m not going to beat you up with the benefits of using zsh over that of bash. You really should know both, since bash is everywhere. Zsh is the newer version that is a powerhouse, though. So if you should decide to use this, I suggest checking out the program oh-my-zsh, which gets all of the common shell configurations set up for you and keeps it up to date.

But, what I really wanted to share was a good reference for bash/zsh shortcuts.  There are others out there, but they seem to be incomplete.  If I’ve missed anything, let me know and I’ll add it.

Command What it Does
Tab Auto-complete files and folder names
Ctrl + A Go to the beginning of the line you are currently typing on
Ctrl + E Go to the end of the line you are currently typing on
Ctrl + F or → Forward one character
Ctrl + B or ← Backward one character
Meta + F (in OSX this is ESC, F or ALT+ →) Move cursor forward one word on the current line
Meta + B (in OSX this is ESC, B or ALT+ ←) Move cursor backward one word on the current line
Ctrl + P or ↑ Previous command entered in history
Ctrl + N or ↓ Next command entered in history
Ctrl + L Clears the screen, similar to the clear command
Ctrl + U Clears the line before the cursor position. If you are at the end of the line, clears the entire line
Ctrl + H Same as backspace
Ctrl + R Lets you search through previously used commands
Ctrl + C Kill whatever you are running
Ctrl + D Exit the current shell
Ctrl + Z Puts whatever you are running into a suspended background process. fg restores it
Ctrl + W Delete the word before the cursor
Ctrl + K Kill the line after the cursor
Ctrl + Y Yank from the kill ring
Ctrl + _ Undo the last bash action (e.g. a yank or kill)
Ctrl + T Swap the last two characters before the cursor
Meta + T (in OSX this is ESC, T) Swap the last two words before the cursor

Update 7/22/2013 - My buddy David Souther liked this one so much he created a little worksheet from it and added some sed commands.  It’s great for a reference.  Check it out here!