I use Dvorak and vi, so when I found out about the vi mode in Bash, I was very excited. However, it would be even better if I could remap the movement keys to be the ones that I use in vi (I swap keys around until the movement keys are back on the home row in Dvorak).

How can I do this?

  • 4
    Take a look at the bind built-in command in bash, or if you want the changes to be uniform across all readline apps, modify ~/.inputrc.
    – jw013
    Dec 26, 2011 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


You can create a file named '.inputrc' in your home directory.

# want vi to be the default editor for readline                      
set editing-mode vi                                            

# vi settings                                         
$if mode=vi                
    # normal mode                           
    set keymap vi-command                                 
    "j": beginning-of-history
    "l": backward-char
    "h": forward-char         
    "G": end-of-history
    # insert mode             
    set keymap vi-insert                          
    "jj": vi-movement-mode # remap escape   

These are my mappings, with the exception of l and h. I switched those here, to show you how you can switch keys. I don't know the Dvorak keys you want, just modify all those keys like you want.

man bash describes all the possiblities.


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