NAME | SYNOPSIS | COPYRIGHT | DESCRIPTION | RETURN VALUE | NOTATION | INITIALIZATION FILE | SEARCHING | EDITING COMMANDS | DEFAULT KEY BINDINGS | SEE ALSO | FILES | AUTHORS | BUG REPORTS | BUGS | COLOPHON

READLINE(3)               Library Functions Manual               READLINE(3)

NAME         top

       readline - get a line from a user with editing

SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <readline/readline.h>
       #include <readline/history.h>

       char *
       readline (const char *prompt);

COPYRIGHT         top

       Readline is Copyright (C) 1989-2014 Free Software Foundation,  Inc.

DESCRIPTION         top

       readline will read a line from the terminal and return it, using
       prompt as a prompt.  If prompt is NULL or the empty string, no prompt
       is issued.  The line returned is allocated with malloc(3); the caller
       must free it when finished.  The line returned has the final newline
       removed, so only the text of the line remains.

       readline offers editing capabilities while the user is entering the
       line.  By default, the line editing commands are similar to those of
       emacs.  A vi-style line editing interface is also available.

       This manual page describes only the most basic use of readline.  Much
       more functionality is available; see The GNU Readline Library and The
       GNU History Library for additional information.

RETURN VALUE         top

       readline returns the text of the line read.  A blank line returns the
       empty string.  If EOF is encountered while reading a line, and the
       line is empty, NULL is returned.  If an EOF is read with a non-empty
       line, it is treated as a newline.

NOTATION         top

       An Emacs-style notation is used to denote keystrokes.  Control keys
       are denoted by C-key, e.g., C-n means Control-N.  Similarly, meta
       keys are denoted by M-key, so M-x means Meta-X.  (On keyboards
       without a meta key, M-x means ESC x, i.e., press the Escape key then
       the x key.  This makes ESC the meta prefix.  The combination M-C-x
       means ESC-Control-x, or press the Escape key then hold the Control
       key while pressing the x key.)

       Readline commands may be given numeric arguments, which normally act
       as a repeat count.  Sometimes, however, it is the sign of the
       argument that is significant.  Passing a negative argument to a
       command that acts in the forward direction (e.g., kill-line) causes
       that command to act in a backward direction.  Commands whose behavior
       with arguments deviates from this are noted below.

       When a command is described as killing text, the text deleted is
       saved for possible future retrieval (yanking).  The killed text is
       saved in a kill ring.  Consecutive kills cause the text to be
       accumulated into one unit, which can be yanked all at once.  Commands
       which do not kill text separate the chunks of text on the kill ring.

INITIALIZATION FILE         top

       Readline is customized by putting commands in an initialization file
       (the inputrc file).  The name of this file is taken from the value of
       the INPUTRC environment variable.  If that variable is unset, the
       default is ~/.inputrc.  If that file  does not exist or cannot be
       read, the ultimate default is /etc/inputrc.  When a program which
       uses the readline library starts up, the init file is read, and the
       key bindings and variables are set.  There are only a few basic
       constructs allowed in the readline init file.  Blank lines are
       ignored.  Lines beginning with a # are comments.  Lines beginning
       with a $ indicate conditional constructs.  Other lines denote key
       bindings and variable settings.  Each program using this library may
       add its own commands and bindings.

       For example, placing

              M-Control-u: universal-argument
       or
              C-Meta-u: universal-argument

       into the inputrc would make M-C-u execute the readline command
       universal-argument.

       The following symbolic character names are recognized while
       processing key bindings: DEL, ESC, ESCAPE, LFD, NEWLINE, RET, RETURN,
       RUBOUT, SPACE, SPC, and TAB.

       In addition to command names, readline allows keys to be bound to a
       string that is inserted when the key is pressed (a macro).

   Key Bindings
       The syntax for controlling key bindings in the inputrc file is
       simple.  All that is required is the name of the command or the text
       of a macro and a key sequence to which it should be bound.  The name
       may be specified in one of two ways: as a symbolic key name, possibly
       with Meta- or Control- prefixes, or as a key sequence.  The name and
       key sequence are separated by a colon.  There can be no whitespace
       between the name and the colon.

       When using the form keyname:function-name or macro, keyname is the
       name of a key spelled out in English.  For example:

              Control-u: universal-argument
              Meta-Rubout: backward-kill-word
              Control-o: "> output"

       In the above example, C-u is bound to the function
       universal-argument, M-DEL is bound to the function
       backward-kill-word, and C-o is bound to run the macro expressed on
       the right hand side (that is, to insert the text ``> output'' into
       the line).

       In the second form, "keyseq":function-name or macro, keyseq differs
       from keyname above in that strings denoting an entire key sequence
       may be specified by placing the sequence within double quotes.  Some
       GNU Emacs style key escapes can be used, as in the following example,
       but the symbolic character names are not recognized.

              "\C-u": universal-argument
              "\C-x\C-r": re-read-init-file
              "\e[11~": "Function Key 1"

       In this example, C-u is again bound to the function
       universal-argument.  C-x C-r is bound to the function
       re-read-init-file, and ESC [ 1 1 ~ is bound to insert the text
       ``Function Key 1''.

       The full set of GNU Emacs style escape sequences available when
       specifying key sequences is
              \C-    control prefix
              \M-    meta prefix
              \e     an escape character
              \\     backslash
              \"     literal ", a double quote
              \'     literal ', a single quote

       In addition to the GNU Emacs style escape sequences, a second set of
       backslash escapes is available:
              \a     alert (bell)
              \b     backspace
              \d     delete
              \f     form feed
              \n     newline
              \r     carriage return
              \t     horizontal tab
              \v     vertical tab
              \nnn   the eight-bit character whose value is the octal value
                     nnn (one to three digits)
              \xHH   the eight-bit character whose value is the hexadecimal
                     value HH (one or two hex digits)

       When entering the text of a macro, single or double quotes should be
       used to indicate a macro definition.  Unquoted text is assumed to be
       a function name.  In the macro body, the backslash escapes described
       above are expanded.  Backslash will quote any other character in the
       macro text, including " and '.

       Bash allows the current readline key bindings to be displayed or
       modified with the bind builtin command.  The editing mode may be
       switched during interactive use by using the -o option to the set
       builtin command.  Other programs using this library provide similar
       mechanisms.  The inputrc file may be edited and re-read if a program
       does not provide any other means to incorporate new bindings.

   Variables
       Readline has variables that can be used to further customize its
       behavior.  A variable may be set in the inputrc file with a statement
       of the form

              set variable-name value

       Except where noted, readline variables can take the values On or Off
       (without regard to case).  Unrecognized variable names are ignored.
       When a variable value is read, empty or null values, "on" (case-
       insensitive), and "1" are equivalent to On.  All other values are
       equivalent to Off.  The variables and their default values are:

       bell-style (audible)
              Controls what happens when readline wants to ring the terminal
              bell.  If set to none, readline never rings the bell.  If set
              to visible, readline uses a visible bell if one is available.
              If set to audible, readline attempts to ring the terminal's
              bell.
       bind-tty-special-chars (On)
              If set to On (the default), readline attempts to bind the
              control characters   treated specially by the kernel's
              terminal driver to their readline equivalents.
       blink-matching-paren (Off)
              If set to On, readline attempts to briefly move the cursor to
              an opening parenthesis when a closing parenthesis is inserted.
       colored-completion-prefix (Off)
              If set to On, when listing completions, readline displays the
              common prefix of the set of possible completions using a
              different color.  The color definitions are taken from the
              value of the LS_COLORS environment variable.
       colored-stats (Off)
              If set to On, readline displays possible completions using
              different colors to indicate their file type.  The color
              definitions are taken from the value of the LS_COLORS
              environment variable.
       comment-begin (``#'')
              The string that is inserted in vi mode when the insert-comment
              command is executed.  This command is bound to M-# in emacs
              mode and to # in vi command mode.
       completion-display-width (-1)
              The number of screen columns used to display possible matches
              when performing completion.  The value is ignored if it is
              less than 0 or greater than the terminal screen width.  A
              value of 0 will cause matches to be displayed one per line.
              The default value is -1.
       completion-ignore-case (Off)
              If set to On, readline performs filename matching and
              completion in a case-insensitive fashion.
       completion-map-case (Off)
              If set to On, and completion-ignore-case is enabled, readline
              treats hyphens (-) and underscores (_) as equivalent when
              performing case-insensitive filename matching and completion.
       completion-prefix-display-length(0)
              The length in characters of the common prefix of a list of
              possible completions that is displayed without modification.
              When set to a value greater than zero, common prefixes longer
              than this value are replaced with an ellipsis when displaying
              possible completions.
       completion-query-items (100)
              This determines when the user is queried about viewing the
              number of possible completions generated by the
              possible-completions command.  It may be set to any integer
              value greater than or equal to zero.  If the number of
              possible completions is greater than or equal to the value of
              this variable, the user is asked whether or not he wishes to
              view them; otherwise they are simply listed on the terminal.
              A negative value causes readline to never ask.
       convert-meta (On)
              If set to On, readline will convert characters with the eighth
              bit set to an ASCII key sequence by stripping the eighth bit
              and prefixing it with an escape character (in effect, using
              escape as the meta prefix).  The default is On, but readline
              will set it to Off if the locale contains eight-bit
              characters.
       disable-completion (Off)
              If set to On, readline will inhibit word completion.
              Completion characters will be inserted into the line as if
              they had been mapped to self-insert.
       echo-control-characters (On)
              When set to On, on operating systems that indicate they
              support it, readline echoes a character corresponding to a
              signal generated from the keyboard.
       editing-mode (emacs)
              Controls whether readline begins with a set of key bindings
              similar to Emacs or vi.  editing-mode can be set to either
              emacs or vi.
       enable-bracketed-paste (Off)
              When set to On, readline will configure the terminal in a way
              that will enable it to insert each paste into the editing
              buffer as a single string of characters, instead of treating
              each character as if it had been read from the keyboard.  This
              can prevent pasted characters from being interpreted as
              editing commands.
       enable-keypad (Off)
              When set to On, readline will try to enable the application
              keypad when it is called.  Some systems need this to enable
              the arrow keys.
       enable-meta-key (On)
              When set to On, readline will try to enable any meta modifier
              key the terminal claims to support when it is called.  On many
              terminals, the meta key is used to send eight-bit characters.
       expand-tilde (Off)
              If set to On, tilde expansion is performed when readline
              attempts word completion.
       history-preserve-point (Off)
              If set to On, the history code attempts to place point at the
              same location on each history line retrieved with previous-
              history or next-history.
       history-size (unset)
              Set the maximum number of history entries saved in the history
              list.  If set to zero, any existing history entries are
              deleted and no new entries are saved.  If set to a value less
              than zero, the number of history entries is not limited.  By
              default, the number of history entries is not limited.  If an
              attempt is made to set history-size to a non-numeric value,
              the maximum number of history entries will be set to 500.
       horizontal-scroll-mode (Off)
              When set to On, makes readline use a single line for display,
              scrolling the input horizontally on a single screen line when
              it becomes longer than the screen width rather than wrapping
              to a new line.
       input-meta (Off)
              If set to On, readline will enable eight-bit input (that is,
              it will not clear the eighth bit in the characters it reads),
              regardless of what the terminal claims it can support.  The
              name meta-flag is a synonym for this variable.  The default is
              Off, but readline will set it to On if the locale contains
              eight-bit characters.
       isearch-terminators (``C-[ C-J'')
              The string of characters that should terminate an incremental
              search without subsequently executing the character as a
              command.  If this variable has not been given a value, the
              characters ESC and C-J will terminate an incremental search.
       keymap (emacs)
              Set the current readline keymap.  The set of legal keymap
              names is emacs, emacs-standard, emacs-meta, emacs-ctlx, vi,
              vi-move, vi-command, and vi-insert.  vi is equivalent to vi-
              command; emacs is equivalent to emacs-standard.  The default
              value is emacs.  The value of editing-mode also affects the
              default keymap.
       emacs-mode-string (@)
              This string is displayed immediately before the last line of
              the primary prompt when emacs editing mode is active.  The
              value is expanded like a key binding, so the standard set of
              meta- and control prefixes and backslash escape sequences is
              available.  Use the \1 and \2 escapes to begin and end
              sequences of non-printing characters, which can be used to
              embed a terminal control sequence into the mode string.
       keyseq-timeout (500)
              Specifies the duration readline will wait for a character when
              reading an ambiguous key sequence (one that can form a
              complete key sequence using the input read so far, or can take
              additional input to complete a longer key sequence).  If no
              input is received within the timeout, readline will use the
              shorter but complete key sequence.  The value is specified in
              milliseconds, so a value of 1000 means that readline will wait
              one second for additional input.  If this variable is set to a
              value less than or equal to zero, or to a non-numeric value,
              readline will wait until another key is pressed to decide
              which key sequence to complete.
       mark-directories (On)
              If set to On, completed directory names have a slash appended.
       mark-modified-lines (Off)
              If set to On, history lines that have been modified are
              displayed with a preceding asterisk (*).
       mark-symlinked-directories (Off)
              If set to On, completed names which are symbolic links to
              directories have a slash appended (subject to the value of
              mark-directories).
       match-hidden-files (On)
              This variable, when set to On, causes readline to match files
              whose names begin with a `.' (hidden files) when performing
              filename completion.  If set to Off, the leading `.' must be
              supplied by the user in the filename to be completed.
       menu-complete-display-prefix (Off)
              If set to On, menu completion displays the common prefix of
              the list of possible completions (which may be empty) before
              cycling through the list.
       output-meta (Off)
              If set to On, readline will display characters with the eighth
              bit set directly rather than as a meta-prefixed escape
              sequence.  The default is Off, but readline will set it to On
              if the locale contains eight-bit characters.
       page-completions (On)
              If set to On, readline uses an internal more-like pager to
              display a screenful of possible completions at a time.
       print-completions-horizontally (Off)
              If set to On, readline will display completions with matches
              sorted horizontally in alphabetical order, rather than down
              the screen.
       revert-all-at-newline (Off)
              If set to On, readline will undo all changes to history lines
              before returning when accept-line is executed.  By default,
              history lines may be modified and retain individual undo lists
              across calls to readline.
       show-all-if-ambiguous (Off)
              This alters the default behavior of the completion functions.
              If set to On, words which have more than one possible
              completion cause the matches to be listed immediately instead
              of ringing the bell.
       show-all-if-unmodified (Off)
              This alters the default behavior of the completion functions
              in a fashion similar to show-all-if-ambiguous.  If set to On,
              words which have more than one possible completion without any
              possible partial completion (the possible completions don't
              share a common prefix) cause the matches to be listed
              immediately instead of ringing the bell.
       show-mode-in-prompt (Off)
              If set to On, add a character to the beginning of the prompt
              indicating the editing mode: emacs, vi command, or vi
              insertion.  The mode strings are user-settable.
       skip-completed-text (Off)
              If set to On, this alters the default completion behavior when
              inserting a single match into the line.  It's only active when
              performing completion in the middle of a word.  If enabled,
              readline does not insert characters from the completion that
              match characters after point in the word being completed, so
              portions of the word following the cursor are not duplicated.
       vi-cmd-mode-string ((cmd))
              This string is displayed immediately before the last line of
              the primary prompt when vi editing mode is active and in
              command mode.  The value is expanded like a key binding, so
              the standard set of meta- and control prefixes and backslash
              escape sequences is available.  Use the \1 and \2 escapes to
              begin and end sequences of non-printing characters, which can
              be used to embed a terminal control sequence into the mode
              string.
       vi-ins-mode-string ((ins))
              This string is displayed immediately before the last line of
              the primary prompt when vi editing mode is active and in
              insertion mode.  The value is expanded like a key binding, so
              the standard set of meta- and control prefixes and backslash
              escape sequences is available.  Use the \1 and \2 escapes to
              begin and end sequences of non-printing characters, which can
              be used to embed a terminal control sequence into the mode
              string.
       visible-stats (Off)
              If set to On, a character denoting a file's type as reported
              by stat(2) is appended to the filename when listing possible
              completions.

   Conditional Constructs
       Readline implements a facility similar in spirit to the conditional
       compilation features of the C preprocessor which allows key bindings
       and variable settings to be performed as the result of tests.  There
       are four parser directives used.

       $if    The $if construct allows bindings to be made based on the
              editing mode, the terminal being used, or the application
              using readline.  The text of the test extends to the end of
              the line; no characters are required to isolate it.

              mode   The mode= form of the $if directive is used to test
                     whether readline is in emacs or vi mode.  This may be
                     used in conjunction with the set keymap command, for
                     instance, to set bindings in the emacs-standard and
                     emacs-ctlx keymaps only if readline is starting out in
                     emacs mode.

              term   The term= form may be used to include terminal-specific
                     key bindings, perhaps to bind the key sequences output
                     by the terminal's function keys.  The word on the right
                     side of the = is tested against the full name of the
                     terminal and the portion of the terminal name before
                     the first -.  This allows sun to match both sun and
                     sun-cmd, for instance.

              application
                     The application construct is used to include
                     application-specific settings.  Each program using the
                     readline library sets the application name, and an
                     initialization file can test for a particular value.
                     This could be used to bind key sequences to functions
                     useful for a specific program.  For instance, the
                     following command adds a key sequence that quotes the
                     current or previous word in bash:

                     $if Bash
                     # Quote the current or previous word
                     "\C-xq": "\eb\"\ef\""
                     $endif

       $endif This command, as seen in the previous example, terminates an
              $if command.

       $else  Commands in this branch of the $if directive are executed if
              the test fails.

       $include
              This directive takes a single filename as an argument and
              reads commands and bindings from that file.  For example, the
              following directive would read /etc/inputrc:

              $include  /etc/inputrc

SEARCHING         top

       Readline provides commands for searching through the command history
       for lines containing a specified string.  There are two search modes:
       incremental and non-incremental.

       Incremental searches begin before the user has finished typing the
       search string.  As each character of the search string is typed,
       readline displays the next entry from the history matching the string
       typed so far.  An incremental search requires only as many characters
       as needed to find the desired history entry.  To search backward in
       the history for a particular string, type C-r.  Typing C-s searches
       forward through the history.  The characters present in the value of
       the isearch-terminators variable are used to terminate an incremental
       search.  If that variable has not been assigned a value the Escape
       and C-J characters will terminate an incremental search.  C-G will
       abort an incremental search and restore the original line.  When the
       search is terminated, the history entry containing the search string
       becomes the current line.

       To find other matching entries in the history list, type C-s or C-r
       as appropriate.  This will search backward or forward in the history
       for the next line matching the search string typed so far.  Any other
       key sequence bound to a readline command will terminate the search
       and execute that command.  For instance, a newline will terminate the
       search and accept the line, thereby executing the command from the
       history list.  A movement command will terminate the search, make the
       last line found the current line, and begin editing.

       Non-incremental searches read the entire search string before
       starting to search for matching history lines.  The search string may
       be typed by the user or be part of the contents of the current line.

EDITING COMMANDS         top

       The following is a list of the names of the commands and the default
       key sequences to which they are bound.  Command names without an
       accompanying key sequence are unbound by default.

       In the following descriptions, point refers to the current cursor
       position, and mark refers to a cursor position saved by the set-mark
       command.  The text between the point and mark is referred to as the
       region.

   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).
       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, it may be added to the history list for
              future recall with add_history().  If the line is a modified
              history line, the history line is restored 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)
              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.
       non-incremental-reverse-search-history (M-p)
              Search backward through the history starting at the current
              line using a non-incremental search for a string supplied by
              the user.
       non-incremental-forward-search-history (M-n)
              Search forward through the history using a non-incremental
              search for a string supplied by the user.
       history-search-backward
              Search backward through the history for the string of
              characters between the start of the current line and the
              current cursor position (the point).  The search string must
              match at the beginning of a history line.  This is a non-
              incremental search.
       history-search-forward
              Search forward through the history for the string of
              characters between the start of the current line and the
              point.  The search string must match at the beginning of a
              history line.  This is a non-incremental search.
       history-substring-search-backward
              Search backward through the history for the string of
              characters between the start of the current line and the
              current cursor position (the point).  The search string may
              match anywhere in a history line.  This is a non-incremental
              search.
       history-substring-search-forward
              Search forward through the history for the string of
              characters between the start of the current line and the
              point.  The search string may match anywhere in a history
              line.  This is a non-incremental search.
       yank-nth-arg (M-C-y)
              Insert the first argument to the previous command (usually the
              second word on the previous line) at point.  With an argument
              n, insert the nth word from the previous command (the words in
              the previous command begin with word 0).  A negative argument
              inserts the nth word from the end of the previous command.
              Once the argument n is computed, the argument is extracted as
              if the "!n" history expansion had been specified.
       yank-last-arg (M-., M-_)
              Insert the last argument to the previous command (the last
              word of the previous history entry).  With a numeric argument,
              behave exactly like yank-nth-arg.  Successive calls to
              yank-last-arg move back through the history list, inserting
              the last word (or the word specified by the argument to the
              first call) of each line in turn.  Any numeric argument
              supplied to these successive calls determines the direction to
              move through the history.  A negative argument switches the
              direction through the history (back or forward).  The history
              expansion facilities are used to extract the last argument, as
              if the "!$" history expansion had been specified.

   Commands for Changing Text
       end-of-file (usually C-d)
              The character indicating end-of-file as set, for example, by
              ``stty''.  If this character is read when there are no
              characters on the line, and point is at the beginning of the
              line, Readline interprets it as the end of input and returns
              EOF.
       delete-char (C-d)
              Delete the character at point.  If this function is bound to
              the same character as the tty EOF character, as C-d commonly
              is, see above for the effects.
       backward-delete-char (Rubout)
              Delete the character behind the cursor.  When given a numeric
              argument, save the deleted text on the kill ring.
       forward-backward-delete-char
              Delete the character under the cursor, unless the cursor is at
              the end of the line, in which case the character behind the
              cursor is deleted.
       quoted-insert (C-q, C-v)
              Add the next character that you type to the line verbatim.
              This is how to insert characters like C-q, for example.
       tab-insert (M-TAB)
              Insert a tab character.
       self-insert (a, b, A, 1, !, ...)
              Insert the character typed.
       transpose-chars (C-t)
              Drag the character before point forward over the character at
              point, moving point forward as well.  If point is at the end
              of the line, then this transposes the two characters before
              point.  Negative arguments have no effect.
       transpose-words (M-t)
              Drag the word before point past the word after point, moving
              point over that word as well.  If point is at the end of the
              line, this transposes the last two words on the line.
       upcase-word (M-u)
              Uppercase the current (or following) word.  With a negative
              argument, uppercase the previous word, but do not move point.
       downcase-word (M-l)
              Lowercase the current (or following) word.  With a negative
              argument, lowercase the previous word, but do not move point.
       capitalize-word (M-c)
              Capitalize the current (or following) word.  With a negative
              argument, capitalize the previous word, but do not move point.
       overwrite-mode
              Toggle overwrite mode.  With an explicit positive numeric
              argument, switches to overwrite mode.  With an explicit non-
              positive numeric argument, switches to insert mode.  This
              command affects only emacs mode; vi mode does overwrite
              differently.  Each call to readline() starts in insert mode.
              In overwrite mode, characters bound to self-insert replace the
              text at point rather than pushing the text to the right.
              Characters bound to backward-delete-char replace the character
              before point with a space.  By default, this command is
              unbound.

   Killing and Yanking
       kill-line (C-k)
              Kill the text from point to the end of the line.
       backward-kill-line (C-x Rubout)
              Kill backward to the beginning of the line.
       unix-line-discard (C-u)
              Kill backward from point to the beginning of the line.  The
              killed text is saved on the kill-ring.
       kill-whole-line
              Kill all characters on the current line, no matter where point
              is.
       kill-word (M-d)
              Kill from point the end of the current word, or if between
              words, to the end of the next word.  Word boundaries are the
              same as those used by forward-word.
       backward-kill-word (M-Rubout)
              Kill the word behind point.  Word boundaries are the same as
              those used by backward-word.
       unix-word-rubout (C-w)
              Kill the word behind point, using white space as a word
              boundary.  The killed text is saved on the kill-ring.
       unix-filename-rubout
              Kill the word behind point, using white space and the slash
              character as the word boundaries.  The killed text is saved on
              the kill-ring.
       delete-horizontal-space (M-\)
              Delete all spaces and tabs around point.
       kill-region
              Kill the text between the point and mark (saved cursor
              position).  This text is referred to as the region.
       copy-region-as-kill
              Copy the text in the region to the kill buffer.
       copy-backward-word
              Copy the word before point to the kill buffer.  The word
              boundaries are the same as backward-word.
       copy-forward-word
              Copy the word following point to the kill buffer.  The word
              boundaries are the same as forward-word.
       yank (C-y)
              Yank the top of the kill ring into the buffer at point.
       yank-pop (M-y)
              Rotate the kill ring, and yank the new top.  Only works
              following yank or yank-pop.

   Numeric Arguments
       digit-argument (M-0, M-1, ..., M--)
              Add this digit to the argument already accumulating, or start
              a new argument.  M-- starts a negative argument.
       universal-argument
              This is another way to specify an argument.  If this command
              is followed by one or more digits, optionally with a leading
              minus sign, those digits define the argument.  If the command
              is followed by digits, executing universal-argument again ends
              the numeric argument, but is otherwise ignored.  As a special
              case, if this command is immediately followed by a character
              that is neither a digit or minus sign, the argument count for
              the next command is multiplied by four.  The argument count is
              initially one, so executing this function the first time makes
              the argument count four, a second time makes the argument
              count sixteen, and so on.

   Completing
       complete (TAB)
              Attempt to perform completion on the text before point.  The
              actual completion performed is application-specific.  Bash,
              for instance, attempts completion treating the text as a
              variable (if the text begins with $), username (if the text
              begins with ~), hostname (if the text begins with @), or
              command (including aliases and functions) in turn.  If none of
              these produces a match, filename completion is attempted.
              Gdb, on the other hand, allows completion of program functions
              and variables, and only attempts filename completion under
              certain circumstances.
       possible-completions (M-?)
              List the possible completions of the text before point.  When
              displaying completions, readline sets the number of columns
              used for display to the value of completion-display-width, the
              value of the environment variable COLUMNS, or the screen
              width, in that order.
       insert-completions (M-*)
              Insert all completions of the text before point that would
              have been generated by possible-completions.
       menu-complete
              Similar to complete, but replaces the word to be completed
              with a single match from the list of possible completions.
              Repeated execution of menu-complete steps through the list of
              possible completions, inserting each match in turn.  At the
              end of the list of completions, the bell is rung (subject to
              the setting of bell-style) and the original text is restored.
              An argument of n moves n positions forward in the list of
              matches; a negative argument may be used to move backward
              through the list.  This command is intended to be bound to
              TAB, but is unbound by default.
       menu-complete-backward
              Identical to menu-complete, but moves backward through the
              list of possible completions, as if menu-complete had been
              given a negative argument.  This command is unbound by
              default.
       delete-char-or-list
              Deletes the character under the cursor if not at the beginning
              or end of the line (like delete-char).  If at the end of the
              line, behaves identically to possible-completions.

   Keyboard Macros
       start-kbd-macro (C-x ()
              Begin saving the characters typed into the current keyboard
              macro.
       end-kbd-macro (C-x ))
              Stop saving the characters typed into the current keyboard
              macro and store the definition.
       call-last-kbd-macro (C-x e)
              Re-execute the last keyboard macro defined, by making the
              characters in the macro appear as if typed at the keyboard.
              print-last-kbd-macro () Print the last keyboard macro defined
              in a format suitable for the inputrc file.

   Miscellaneous
       re-read-init-file (C-x C-r)
              Read in the contents of the inputrc file, and incorporate any
              bindings or variable assignments found there.
       abort (C-g)
              Abort the current editing command and ring the terminal's bell
              (subject to the setting of bell-style).
       do-uppercase-version (M-a, M-b, M-x, ...)
              If the metafied character x is lowercase, run the command that
              is bound to the corresponding uppercase character.
       prefix-meta (ESC)
              Metafy the next character typed.  ESC f is equivalent to
              Meta-f.
       undo (C-_, C-x C-u)
              Incremental undo, separately remembered for each line.
       revert-line (M-r)
              Undo all changes made to this line.  This is like executing
              the undo command enough times to return the line to its
              initial state.
       tilde-expand (M-&)
              Perform tilde expansion on the current word.
       set-mark (C-@, M-<space>)
              Set the mark to the point.  If a numeric argument is supplied,
              the mark is set to that position.
       exchange-point-and-mark (C-x C-x)
              Swap the point with the mark.  The current cursor position is
              set to the saved position, and the old cursor position is
              saved as the mark.
       character-search (C-])
              A character is read and point is moved to the next occurrence
              of that character.  A negative count searches for previous
              occurrences.
       character-search-backward (M-C-])
              A character is read and point is moved to the previous
              occurrence of that character.  A negative count searches for
              subsequent occurrences.
       skip-csi-sequence
              Read enough characters to consume a multi-key sequence such as
              those defined for keys like Home and End.  Such sequences
              begin with a Control Sequence Indicator (CSI), usually ESC-[.
              If this sequence is bound to "\[", keys producing such
              sequences will have no effect unless explicitly bound to a
              readline command, instead of inserting stray characters into
              the editing buffer.  This is unbound by default, but usually
              bound to ESC-[.
       insert-comment (M-#)
              Without a numeric argument, the value of the readline
              comment-begin variable is inserted at the beginning of the
              current line.  If a numeric argument is supplied, this command
              acts as a toggle: if the characters at the beginning of the
              line do not match the value of comment-begin, the value is
              inserted, otherwise the characters in comment-begin are
              deleted from the beginning of the line.  In either case, the
              line is accepted as if a newline had been typed.  The default
              value of comment-begin makes the current line a shell comment.
              If a numeric argument causes the comment character to be
              removed, the line will be executed by the shell.
       dump-functions
              Print all of the functions and their key bindings to the
              readline output stream.  If a numeric argument is supplied,
              the output is formatted in such a way that it can be made part
              of an inputrc file.
       dump-variables
              Print all of the settable variables and their values to the
              readline output stream.  If a numeric argument is supplied,
              the output is formatted in such a way that it can be made part
              of an inputrc file.
       dump-macros
              Print all of the readline key sequences bound to macros and
              the strings they output.  If a numeric argument is supplied,
              the output is formatted in such a way that it can be made part
              of an inputrc file.
       emacs-editing-mode (C-e)
              When in vi command mode, this causes a switch to emacs editing
              mode.
       vi-editing-mode (M-C-j)
              When in emacs editing mode, this causes a switch to vi editing
              mode.

DEFAULT KEY BINDINGS         top

       The following is a list of the default emacs and vi bindings.
       Characters with the eighth bit set are written as M-<character>, and
       are referred to as metafied characters.  The printable ASCII
       characters not mentioned in the list of emacs standard bindings are
       bound to the self-insert function, which just inserts the given
       character into the input line.  In vi insertion mode, all characters
       not specifically mentioned are bound to self-insert.  Characters
       assigned to signal generation by stty(1) or the terminal driver, such
       as C-Z or C-C, retain that function.  Upper and lower case metafied
       characters are bound to the same function in the emacs mode meta
       keymap.  The remaining characters are unbound, which causes readline
       to ring the bell (subject to the setting of the bell-style variable).

   Emacs Mode
             Emacs Standard bindings

             "C-@"  set-mark
             "C-A"  beginning-of-line
             "C-B"  backward-char
             "C-D"  delete-char
             "C-E"  end-of-line
             "C-F"  forward-char
             "C-G"  abort
             "C-H"  backward-delete-char
             "C-I"  complete
             "C-J"  accept-line
             "C-K"  kill-line
             "C-L"  clear-screen
             "C-M"  accept-line
             "C-N"  next-history
             "C-P"  previous-history
             "C-Q"  quoted-insert
             "C-R"  reverse-search-history
             "C-S"  forward-search-history
             "C-T"  transpose-chars
             "C-U"  unix-line-discard
             "C-V"  quoted-insert
             "C-W"  unix-word-rubout
             "C-Y"  yank
             "C-]"  character-search
             "C-_"  undo
             " " to "/"  self-insert
             "0"  to "9"  self-insert
             ":"  to "~"  self-insert
             "C-?"  backward-delete-char

             Emacs Meta bindings

             "M-C-G"  abort
             "M-C-H"  backward-kill-word
             "M-C-I"  tab-insert
             "M-C-J"  vi-editing-mode
             "M-C-M"  vi-editing-mode
             "M-C-R"  revert-line
             "M-C-Y"  yank-nth-arg
             "M-C-["  complete
             "M-C-]"  character-search-backward
             "M-space"  set-mark
             "M-#"  insert-comment
             "M-&"  tilde-expand
             "M-*"  insert-completions
             "M--"  digit-argument
             "M-."  yank-last-arg
             "M-0"  digit-argument
             "M-1"  digit-argument
             "M-2"  digit-argument
             "M-3"  digit-argument
             "M-4"  digit-argument
             "M-5"  digit-argument
             "M-6"  digit-argument
             "M-7"  digit-argument
             "M-8"  digit-argument
             "M-9"  digit-argument
             "M-<"  beginning-of-history
             "M-="  possible-completions
             "M->"  end-of-history
             "M-?"  possible-completions
             "M-B"  backward-word
             "M-C"  capitalize-word
             "M-D"  kill-word
             "M-F"  forward-word
             "M-L"  downcase-word
             "M-N"  non-incremental-forward-search-history
             "M-P"  non-incremental-reverse-search-history
             "M-R"  revert-line
             "M-T"  transpose-words
             "M-U"  upcase-word
             "M-Y"  yank-pop
             "M-\"  delete-horizontal-space
             "M-~"  tilde-expand
             "M-C-?"  backward-kill-word
             "M-_"  yank-last-arg

             Emacs Control-X bindings

             "C-XC-G"  abort
             "C-XC-R"  re-read-init-file
             "C-XC-U"  undo
             "C-XC-X"  exchange-point-and-mark
             "C-X("  start-kbd-macro
             "C-X)"  end-kbd-macro
             "C-XE"  call-last-kbd-macro
             "C-XC-?"  backward-kill-line

   VI Mode bindings
             VI Insert Mode functions

             "C-D"  vi-eof-maybe
             "C-H"  backward-delete-char
             "C-I"  complete
             "C-J"  accept-line
             "C-M"  accept-line
             "C-R"  reverse-search-history
             "C-S"  forward-search-history
             "C-T"  transpose-chars
             "C-U"  unix-line-discard
             "C-V"  quoted-insert
             "C-W"  unix-word-rubout
             "C-Y"  yank
             "C-["  vi-movement-mode
             "C-_"  undo
             " " to "~"  self-insert
             "C-?"  backward-delete-char

             VI Command Mode functions

             "C-D"  vi-eof-maybe
             "C-E"  emacs-editing-mode
             "C-G"  abort
             "C-H"  backward-char
             "C-J"  accept-line
             "C-K"  kill-line
             "C-L"  clear-screen
             "C-M"  accept-line
             "C-N"  next-history
             "C-P"  previous-history
             "C-Q"  quoted-insert
             "C-R"  reverse-search-history
             "C-S"  forward-search-history
             "C-T"  transpose-chars
             "C-U"  unix-line-discard
             "C-V"  quoted-insert
             "C-W"  unix-word-rubout
             "C-Y"  yank
             "C-_"  vi-undo
             " "  forward-char
             "#"  insert-comment
             "$"  end-of-line
             "%"  vi-match
             "&"  vi-tilde-expand
             "*"  vi-complete
             "+"  next-history
             ","  vi-char-search
             "-"  previous-history
             "."  vi-redo
             "/"  vi-search
             "0"  beginning-of-line
             "1" to "9"  vi-arg-digit
             ";"  vi-char-search
             "="  vi-complete
             "?"  vi-search
             "A"  vi-append-eol
             "B"  vi-prev-word
             "C"  vi-change-to
             "D"  vi-delete-to
             "E"  vi-end-word
             "F"  vi-char-search
             "G"  vi-fetch-history
             "I"  vi-insert-beg
             "N"  vi-search-again
             "P"  vi-put
             "R"  vi-replace
             "S"  vi-subst
             "T"  vi-char-search
             "U"  revert-line
             "W"  vi-next-word
             "X"  backward-delete-char
             "Y"  vi-yank-to
             "\"  vi-complete
             "^"  vi-first-print
             "_"  vi-yank-arg
             "`"  vi-goto-mark
             "a"  vi-append-mode
             "b"  vi-prev-word
             "c"  vi-change-to
             "d"  vi-delete-to
             "e"  vi-end-word
             "f"  vi-char-search
             "h"  backward-char
             "i"  vi-insertion-mode
             "j"  next-history
             "k"  prev-history
             "l"  forward-char
             "m"  vi-set-mark
             "n"  vi-search-again
             "p"  vi-put
             "r"  vi-change-char
             "s"  vi-subst
             "t"  vi-char-search
             "u"  vi-undo
             "w"  vi-next-word
             "x"  vi-delete
             "y"  vi-yank-to
             "|"  vi-column
             "~"  vi-change-case

SEE ALSO         top

       The Gnu Readline Library, Brian Fox and Chet Ramey
       The Gnu History Library, Brian Fox and Chet Ramey
       bash(1)

FILES         top

       ~/.inputrc
              Individual readline initialization file

AUTHORS         top

       Brian Fox, Free Software Foundation
       bfox@gnu.org

       Chet Ramey, Case Western Reserve University
       chet.ramey@case.edu

BUG REPORTS         top

       If you find a bug in readline, you should report it.  But first, you
       should make sure that it really is a bug, and that it appears in the
       latest version of the readline library that you have.

       Once you have determined that a bug actually exists, mail a bug
       report to bug-readline@gnu.org.  If you have a fix, you are welcome
       to mail that as well!  Suggestions and `philosophical' bug reports
       may be mailed to bug-readline@gnu.org or posted to the Usenet
       newsgroup gnu.bash.bug.

       Comments and bug reports concerning this manual page should be
       directed to chet.ramey@case.edu.

BUGS         top

       It's too big and too slow.

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the readline (GNU Readline library) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨http://www.gnu.org/software/readline/⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, see 
       ⟨http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/php/chet/readline/rltop.html#Bugs⟩.  This
       page was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository 
       ⟨git://git.savannah.gnu.org/readline.git⟩ on 2017-04-25.  If you dis‐
       cover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you
       believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or
       you have corrections or improvements to the information in this
       COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail
       to man-pages@man7.org

GNU Readline 7.0              2016 February 28                   READLINE(3)

Pages that refer to this page: bash(1)dbpmda(1)history(3)crash(8)lvm(8)