Not knowing why, but the bash completion won't work if I call application in the absolute path.

For example, I have file1 & file2 under the current directory

[zhengw@localhost ~]$ rm -f file<tab><tab>
file1  file2
[zhengw@localhost ~]$ which rm
[zhengw@localhost ~]$ /bin/rm -f file<tab><tab>

In the above example, bash auto completed the files for me in the first command, but returned nothing for the second command.

Also tried other commands, it turns out if I use the absolute path, the bash completion just won't work.

  • You didn't delete file1 & file2 before running second command? – αғsнιη Oct 12 '17 at 13:00
  • Which distribution, version and kernel version do you use? – cezar Oct 12 '17 at 13:14
  • CentOS 6.6, Bash v4.1.2. Note this is a company IT distributed vm, not knowing any customization they might have done to it. – wayne zheng Oct 13 '17 at 3:16
  • No, I didn't delete those files. – wayne zheng Oct 13 '17 at 3:18

So I've nailed the root cause. I installed the fzf application for my vim to use its' fuzzy searching function. The default installation method of fzf vim plugin installed a bash completion script which was sourced into the bashrc file, and it eventually messed up with the original completion function.

I was able to fix the problem by uninstall the plugin, and reinstall it with --bin option.


Change the install method of fzf plugin(in your .vimrc) from:

Plug 'junegunn/fzf', {'dir': '~/.fzf', 'do': './install --all' }


Plug 'junegunn/fzf', {'dir': '~/.fzf', 'do': './install --bin' }
  • My experience with bash completion scripts is that they are well intentioned but typically so broken and unpredictable in practice that I just disable them completely. E.g. many of them disable filename completion in contexts where you want to enter a filename. – user1998586 Oct 13 '17 at 7:02
  • Hi Wayne, you should accept this answer (click on the check mark) so that the question is marked as answered. – Anthony Geoghegan Oct 16 '17 at 0:06

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