I am currently using Esc + p to know my previous command run on terminal. Similarly, there is one like Esc+ Backspace to delete only certain character.

I want to know more of such short-cut combos and some more information about such shortcut keys.

  • 1
    Gnome-terminal Keyboard shortcuts Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 11:20
  • @KasiyA It's a good list but why it doesn't have Esc + p ?? also Ctrl + c does abort the current command on terminal and launch new prompt line. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 11:23
  • That is a little old ;) as you can see in step 1 mentioned "Select Edit ▸ Preferences ▸ Shortcuts." while we have separate option for that under Edit menu as known "Keyboard shortcuts ". Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 11:27
  • @KasiyA You seem confused about the difference between a shell, and a terminal. Not only that, this question is tagged as [xterm], not [gnome-terminal]... Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


You can list all currently active keybinds in tcsh with the bindkey command:

% bindkey
Standard key bindings
"^@"           ->  set-mark-command
"^A"           ->  beginning-of-line
"^B"           ->  backward-char
"^C"           ->  tty-sigintr
... etc ...

In this output, ^[ is the escape character this is Esc followed by your key (eg. p). Some terminal emulators may also send Alt as the escape character. M- is Meta (Alt), and ^ is Control.

You can also use bindkey to set commands; See the manpage entry on bindkey for more information.

A list of keybinds for xterm can be found here; the manpage also has a section on it, but it's not very to-the-point...


For bash and some other shells, you can read the man page of readline which contains a list of possible key bindings for editing (by default the Emacs mode is used). Some of them also work for tcsh.

  • I did find some of the matching ones, like the ones beginning-of-line (C-a) .. but do meta key (M-<anykey>) means Escape key by default? Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 11:56
  • 1
    @JigarGandhi Meta is <kbd>Alt</kbd>. But often it can also be entered by first typing <kbd>Esc</kbd> and then the anykey.
    – jofel
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 12:32
  • tcsh doesn't use the readline library; you seem to have assumed that this is a bash question, which it is not (so this answer is wrong)... Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 14:43
  • @Carpetsmoker but some of them matched perfectly!! lucky enough!! Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 15:08
  • @Carpetsmoker thanks, I made the answer more precise.
    – jofel
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 23:19

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