Commands and shortcuts I use in the shell (the terminal)
I use the shortcut
R to retrieve commands from history (i.e. commands I previously typed). For example instead of typing
$ cd /home/user/mybook to go to the directory where I do my work, I press the keys
R followed by the keystrokes
y which is enough for
cd /home/user/mybook to show up in the search result of the query, then I press
return (“Enter”) to execute the command.
Same to edit my to-do list: instead of typing
$ vi /home/user/todo.txt to open the file todo.txt, I press the keys
R followed by the keystrokes
d, then I press
return, or instead of typing
$ git ci --amend --no-edit to add changes to the last commit, I press the keys
R followed by the keystrokes
e, then I press
Not all commands I can reuse verbatim though. If I use the shortcut
R to retrieve a command, but that I have to edit the command, I type
U to paste the command from history to the command line and then use the following shortcuts to edit the command:
Ctrl + A # move cursor at the beginning of the line Ctrl + E # move cursor at the end of the line Ctrl + F # move cursor forward one character Ctrl + B # move cursor backward one character Alt + F # move cursor forward one word Alt + B # move cursor backward one word Alt + D # delete text from cursor to the end of the word Ctrl + D # delete character at the cursor location Ctrl + K # delete text from cursor to the end of the line Ctrl + U # delete text from cursor to the beginning of the line Alt + backspace # delete text from the cursor to the beginning of the current word, or previous word
(There are other existing shortcuts which I have not managed to adopt. See the list of all shortcuts you can use to edit on the command line).
Sometimes the command I want to retrieve is one I have just use. In that case, I don’t use
R but use the shortcut
P to circle through the last commands ran (
N goes the other way around in case you circled back to fast and missed the one you sought).
Some other times, the command I seek is no longer in history, thus can’t be retrieved via
P). If that is a command that is difficult to memorise, I might create an alias.
Before we move onto seeing the commands I use in the shell, let me list some other shortcuts I use:
menu + b
to open a tab in the shell.
menu + l
to close a tab in the shell.
shift + page up/down
to move up/down one screen in the shell.
Alt + Shift
to shift between keyboard layouts (that is a customized shortcut).
Now, some of the commands I use:
$ time pandoc -o file.pdf --pdf-engine=xelatex --toc file.md --trace --lua-filter=count-para.lua -V documentclass=article -V fontsize=12pt && atril file.pdf
which I retrieve with the shortcut
R to convert the Markdown file I am working on into a pdf, and open it straight away with a pdf viewier (more about pandoc).
$ pandoc file.md --lua-filter=wordcount.lua
to count words of a Markdown file ignoring Markdown syntax (more about counting words with a lua script). Otherwise:
$ sed -i 's/regex/replacement/g' file
to replace an expression through a file without opening it (more about sed).
$ sed -i 's/regex/replacement/g' *.md
to replace an expression through all Markdown files in the current directory, a repository for example.
an alias, to display all films I have on my laptop (i.e.
$ alias films=‘find /home/user/Downloads/ -name’'‘*[avi,mkv,mp4]’'’ -size +500M|less’).
$ find path/to/directory -iname regex -type f
to find a file in a given directory (more about find).
$ find /home/user/Downloads/* -maxdepth 1 -mtime 0
to display all files downloaded in the last 24 hours (more about the option mtime).
$ git ci -am "Your commit message"
to add and commit at once;
ci is an alias for
commit (more about git alias).
$ git last
an alias, to show the last commit (i.e.
log -1 HEAD).
$ git log --pretty=oneline
to show log of commits as one liners.
$ apropos keyword
to look for and discover (new) utilities or programmes (more about apropos).
$ whatis nameofaprogramme
to check what a programme I read about and don’t know of does.
$ man nameofaprogramme
to display the manual of a programme to figure how to write up a command, for example.
$ keepassxc-cli clip path/to/my_password_database.kdbx password_entry_name
to copy an entry’s password to the clipboard.
$ grep pattern files
pattern is a regex or simply a keyword which I am looking for through a bunch of files (more about grep).
$ ls -lt | head n -15
to display the last 15 (or else) modified files or directories in the current working directory.
$ shutdown now
to shutdown my computer.
to reboot my computer.
$ ping www.trisquel.info
to check whether I am connected to the internet.
$ touch /home/user/the_repository_of_this_website/drafts/name_of_a_draft.md
to create the file of a draft I will write later.
$ TZ=Asia/Singapore date
to display the time of a time zone, or:
if I don’t know the TZ value of the time zone I need to display the time of (more about the utility date).
$ date --date='TZ="Asia/Singapore" 17:00 next Fri'
to display (my) local time given the time and date of another time zone (to set up calls).
$ sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt update
to update my distribution.
$ umount /media/user/usb_device_name
to unmount (“eject”) a USB device.
$ less file
to display and browse a file without opening it (more about less); also to pipe output through less.
$ cat file
to print content of a file in the shell (usually one of my short wiki I have locally).
$ backintime backup
to back up ~/home/ (more about Back In Time).
$ backtime last-snapshot
to check that the last backup process went through.
$ history | less
to look for a command I previously ran.
$ nvlc path/to/audio/file
to listen to radio programmes, also
$ cvlc path/to/audio/file.
$ df -h
to check how much space is left on my drive.
Feedback are more than welcome at yctct at domain name. I am curious to know which commands make your day easier.