Linux CLI Shortcuts

Some of the very useful shortcuts when using the CLI (command line interface) are
(the ‘*’ or dash ‘-‘ is not included in the command)

* / – root directory

* ./ – current directory

* ./command_name – run a command in the current directory when the current directory is not on the path

* ../ – parent directory

* ~ – home directory

* $ – typical prompt when logged in as ordinary user

* # – typical prompt when logged in as root or superuser

* ! – repeat specified command

* !! – repeat previous command

* ^^ – repeat previous command with substitution

* & – run a program in background mode

* [Tab][Tab] – prints a list of all available commands. This is just an example of autocomplete with no restriction on the first letter.

* x[Tab][Tab] – prints a list of all available completions for a command, where the beginning is “x”

* [Alt][Ctrl][F1] – switch to the first virtual text console

* [Alt][Ctrl][Fn] – switch to the nth virtual text console. Typically, there are six on a Linux PC system.

* [Alt][Ctrl][F7] – switch to the first GUI console, if there is one running. If the graphical console freezes, one can switch to a nongraphical console, kill the process that is giving problems, and switch back to the graphical console using this shortcut.

* [ArrowUp] – scroll through the command history (in bash)

* [Shift][PageUp] – scroll terminal output up. This also works at the login prompt, so you can scroll through your boot messages.

* [Shift][PageDown] – scroll terminal output down

* [Ctrl][Alt][+] – switch to next X server resolution (if the server is set up for more than one resolution)

* [Ctrl][Alt][-] – change to previous X server resolution

* [Ctrl][Alt][BkSpc] – kill the current X server. Used when normal exit is not possible.

* [Ctrl][Alt][Del] – shut down the system and reboot

* [Ctrl]c – kill the current process

* [Ctrl]d – logout from the current terminal

* [Ctrl]s – stop transfer to current terminal

* [Ctrl]q – resume transfer to current terminal. This should be tried if the terminal stops responding.

* [Ctrl]z – send current process to the background

* reset – restore a terminal to its default settings

* [Leftmousebutton] – Hold down left mouse button and drag to highlight text. Releasing the button copies the region to the text buffer under X and (if gpm is installed) in console mode.

* [Middlemousebutton] – Copies text from the text buffer and inserts it at the cursor location. With a two-button mouse, click on both buttons simultaneously. It is necessary for three-button emulation to be enabled, either under gpm or in XF86Config.


I am a g33k, Linux blogger, developer, student and Tech Writer for My passion for all things tech drives my hunt for all the coolz. I often need a vacation after I get back from vacation....

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.