How do I change bash history completion to complete what's already on the line?


I found a command a couple of months ago that made my bash history auto-complete on what's already on the line when pressing the up arrow:

$ vim fi


$ vim

I'd like to set this up on my new computer, because it saves a lot of time when keeping a big history. The problem is that I can't for the life of me remember where it was mentioned and reading through endless bash references and tutorials unfortunately didn't help either.

Does anybody know the command?

6/8/2014 9:21:20 AM

Accepted Answer

Probably something like

# ~/.inputrc
"\e[A": history-search-backward
"\e[B": history-search-forward

or equivalently,

# ~/.bashrc
if [[ $- == *i* ]]
    bind '"\e[A": history-search-backward'
    bind '"\e[B": history-search-forward'

(the if statement checks for interactive mode)

Normally, Up and Down are bound to the Readline functions previous-history and next-history respectively. I prefer to bind PgUp/PgDn to these functions, instead of displacing the normal operation of Up/Down.

# ~/.inputrc
"\e[5~": history-search-backward
"\e[6~": history-search-forward

After you modify ~/.inputrc, restart your shell or use Ctrl+X, Ctrl+R to tell it to re-read ~/.inputrc.

By the way, if you're looking for relevant documentation:

Bash uses The GNU Readline Library for the shell prompt and history.

4/17/2015 10:43:09 AM

Update .inputrc with the following:

"\C-[OA": history-search-backward
"\C-[[A": history-search-backward

"\C-[OB": history-search-forward
"\C-[[B": history-search-forward

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