Is there any way to run a program without pressing enter?

I could then have a script that cd's one folder up. Then I could hold down ctrl and every time i would hit a button, that script would run.

That could make life easier in the shell as I could go up the folder structure faster. And could even clear the screen each time and run ls. Or do whatever with just a single click of a button, while in the shell.

I'm using bash and my terminal emulator is Linux Mint, Xfce's default.


2 Answers 2


You can do this using bash's .inputrc file, the readline startup configuration file. First, edit the file ~/.inputrc (this means a file named .inputrc in your $HOME directory; create it if it doesn't exist) and add this line:

Control-u: "cd ../\n"

That sets the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+u to insert cd ../ followed by a newline (enter). Now, open a new terminal and you can use Ctrl+u to move one directory up. So yes, you can hold down Ctrl and then move one directory up every time you press u.

  • 1
    Custom things you put in .inputrc are also available in other programs that use readline for interactive use, such as rlwrap. Oct 7, 2021 at 17:37
  • @glennjackman that seems like a good thing, right? Or do you mean it can cause conflicts or something?
    – terdon
    Oct 7, 2021 at 19:50
  • No it's a plus. The only things I have in my .inputrc are set editing-mode vi and set show-mode-in-prompt on Oct 7, 2021 at 21:17
  • 11
    I don't think it is a plus, because in other utilities that use Readline (and thus .inputrc) cd .. makes no sense. To work around that, you could put bind 'Control-u:"cd ..\n"' in .bashrc, so it only affects Bash. Nice answer nonetheless.
    – Quasímodo
    Oct 8, 2021 at 12:16

If you don't have a specific task that you want to automate, but you want to speed up some command right now by executing it with a single keypress, why not simply use copy-paste:

  1. Type the command you want to repeat, and type <enter>.
  2. Highlight the command to the end of the line (including the newline at the end), and copy the selection to the clipboard.
  3. Type control-V to paste and execute the copied command. Repeat.

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