I defined a simple function prepend (below) that should automatically place a repeated term of a bash command in the following input prompts. For example, by typing prepend git in the terminal, all following inputs should have git already entered. For the most part, prepend does this; however, seemingly at random, prepend will cut off the first letter of the word (e.g. $prepend sensors yields $ensors on the following input prompt).

I was wondering why this is happening and how to possibly fix it. However, if there's an alternative/canonical way to have text entered into input prompts, I wouldn't mind implementing this differently.


#stty to stop text from being displayed before $PS1

function prepend {
    if ! [ -z "$1" ]
            PROMPT_COMMAND="stty -echo && xdotool type $1 && stty echo"
            set PROMPT_COMMAND
        unset PROMPT_COMMAND
  • 1
    I'm not aware of a proper solution, however, your hack is quite fragile. E.g. if you have another window (let's say a browser) focused when a terminal command completes, you'll end up "typing" into that window. On a side note: the "set" command doesn't do what you think it does. For your actual problem: you might inject a few "sleep 0.1"s into PROMPT_COMMAND and see if that helps, I have no clue why the first letter could be swallowed. – egmont Jan 9 at 22:07
  • @egmont Thank you. Beyond the window focus, are there other major use-cases I should consider to make the function more robust? – SWV Jan 10 at 0:42
  • Use the ioctl TIOCSTI to stuff data into the input. See here. – meuh Jan 10 at 18:15

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