Back in the day, if my cursor was in the middle of a really long shell command I'd just hit Ctrl+C to get myself a new command prompt.

Then I learned about Ctrl+K/C and life was good. Unfortunately those sequences are a little awkward for me, so now I'd like to map one shortcut to reset the entire line with one sequence.

Is it possible to map something like Ctrl+X so it performs those two commands? I checked the variables in man bash and found kill-whole-line but I'm not sure how to implement it in my .bashrc -- or if that's even what I need (seems like it is).

ED: I learned Ctrl+X might not be the best choice because it's a gateway to other bash shortcuts, so I went with something else.

2 Answers 2


You can add the following line into ~/.inputrc:

"\C-x": kill-whole-line

Or, add the following into your ~/.bashrc:

bind '"\C-x": kill-whole-line'

To see all the possible bindings and which are in effect, run

bind -p

You might need to unbind the combinations that start with \C-x.


It's not possible to assign multiple commands to a single hotkey directly. Normally one would do following in the ~/.inputrc

"\C-x": some-readline-command (eg. kill-whole-line)

However, you can do following to map hotkey to any sequence of input (where you can reference already bound commands by their hotkeys too and hence execute them)

"\C-x": "\C-knew text"

Note: Actually above wouldn't work because \C-x is by default bound as leader key for other bindings (eg. \C-x\C-u for undo in emacs mode). You have to unbind all of those to make pure \C-x do something.

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