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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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4.3.1 Special key strokes

In the Unix-like environment, there are few key strokes which have special meanings. [ 17]

  • Ctrl-U: Erase line before cursor.

  • Ctrl-H: Erase a character before cursor.

  • Ctrl-D: Terminate input. (exit shell if you are using shell)

  • Ctrl-C: Terminate a running program.

  • Ctrl-Z: Temporarily stop program. (put it to the background job, see command &, Section 4.3.10.1)

  • Ctrl-S: Halt output to screen. [ 18]

  • Ctrl-Q: Reactivate output to screen.

The default shell, bash, has history-editing and tab-completion capabilities to aide the interactive use.

  • up-arrow: Start command history search.

  • Ctrl-R: Start incremental command history search.

  • TAB: Complete input of the filename to the command line.

  • Ctrl-V TAB: Input TAB without expansion to the command line.

Other important keystrokes to remember:

  • Ctrl-Alt-Del: Reboot/halt the system, see Install a few more packages after initial install, Section 3.8.1.

  • Left-click-and-drag mouse: Select and copy to the clipboard.

  • Click middle mouse button: Paste clipboard at the cursor.

  • Meta-key (Emacs terminology) is assigned traditionally to Left-Alt-key. Some system may be configured to use Windows-key for Meta-key.

Here, in order to use a mouse in the Linux character console, you need to have gpm running as daemon. [ 19] See Mouse configuration, Section 3.3.


Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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