Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

It is bound to menu-complete in GNU readline.

$ bind -p|grep menu
"\e[Z": menu-complete
# menu-complete-backward (not bound)
# old-menu-complete (not bound)

I think it's Meta-something.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Look in the terminfo database for your terminal for the key that sends this escape sequence. The infocmp command dumps the terminfo entry for the current terminal.

$ infocmp | grep -oE ' k[[:alpha:]]+=\\E\[Z,'

The terminfo man page explains what cbt is the abbreviation of. (It also gives an example which corresponds to most terminals out there.)

$ man 5 terminfo | grep -w kcbt
       key_btab                      kcbt       kB        back-tab key
             kbs=^H, kcbt=\E[Z, kcub1=\E[D, kcud1=\E[B,

So you have it: \e[Z is backtab, i.e. Shift+Tab (on most terminals).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.