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The bash shell offers a lot of power for
interacting with the command line. By default, the shell uses an
Emacs-like mode to edit lines, which you can change to a vi-like
mode. The mode you choose largely depends on which editor you’re
most comfortable with.

For example, when using the default Emacs-like
mode, you can use a number of [Ctrl] or [Esc] key combinations to
navigate and manipulate text when you’re working on a lengthy
command. Here’s a list of some of your options:

  • Press [Ctrl]B to move backward one
  • Press [Ctrl]F to move forward one
  • Press [Esc]B to move one word backward.
  • Press [Esc]F to move one word forward.
  • Press [Ctrl]A to move to the first character
    in the line.
  • Press [Ctrl]E to move to the end of the
  • Press [Ctrl]U to delete the current line.
  • Press [Ctrl]K to delete from the cursor’s
    current position to the end of the line.

You can also use a command to search through
your history. Press [Ctrl]R to perform a reverse search through
your history for a given command. When you’ve located the command,
press [Enter] to reexecute it, or edit the command to change

If you frequently work from the command line,
using these shortcuts can save you a lot of time.