Archive for February 2nd, 2011

Bash shortcuts on the command line

Even when you’re using the command line for quite a few years, you might have missed or forgotten some very handy shortcuts which are very useful in daily use.
The command to show the complete list:

bind -P | less

You can also create your own:

  • to go backward one word at time with ‘control-b’
$ bind '"\C-b"':backward-word
  • or launch an application
$ bind -x '"\C-e"':xeyes

I googled a bit around and came up with this nice table which summarizes some of the most useful shortcuts.

Bash Shortcuts Quick Reference
Ctrl-a Move to the start of the line.
Ctrl-e Move to the end of the line.
Ctrl-b Move back one character.
Alt-b Move back one word.
Ctrl-f Move forward one character.
Alt-f Move forward one word.
Ctrl-] x Where x is any character, moves the cursor forward to the next occurance of x.
Alt-Ctrl-] x Where x is any character, moves the cursor backwards to the previous occurance of x.
Ctrl-u Delete from the cursor to the beginning of the line.
Ctrl-k Delete from the cursor to the end of the line.
Ctrl-w Delete from the cursor to the start of the word.
Esc-Del Delete previous word (may not work, instead try Esc followed by Backspace)
Ctrl-y Pastes text from the clipboard.
Ctrl-l Clear the screen leaving the current line at the top of the screen.
Ctrl-x Ctrl-u Undo the last changes. Ctrl-_ does the same
Alt-r Undo all changes to the line.
Alt-Ctrl-e Expand command line.
Ctrl-r Incremental reverse search of history.
Alt-p Non-incremental reverse search of history.
!! Execute last command in history
!abc Execute last command in history beginning with abc
!abc:p Print last command in history beginning with abc
!n Execute nth command in history
!$ Last argument of last command
!^ First argument of last command
^abc^xyz Replace first occurance of abc with xyz in last command and execute it

Thanks to:

There was also a very beautiful? But nevertheless very useful sheet out there which can help you out with even more bash shell shortcuts:

Thanks to:

Blekko – search engine with some nice features


The newest search engine in town, one of Blekko’s selling points is the richness of the data it offers. If you type in a domain name followed by /seo you’ll receive a page of statistics on that URL


They are also very keen on developers accessing their data, so they offer an easy-to-use API through the /json slash tag, which returns a JSON object instead of HTML.<APIKEY>&ft=&p=1

To obtain an API key, email Their terms of service are available at, and while they’re somewhat restrictive, they are flexible in practice:

You should note that it prohibits practically all interesting uses of the blekko API. We are not currently issuing formal written authorization to do things prohibited in the agreement, but, if you are well behaved (e.g. not flooding us with queries), and we know your email address (from when you applied for an API auth key, see above), we will have the ability to attempt to contact you and discuss your usage patterns if needed.

Currently, the /seo results aren’t available through the JSON interface, so you have to scrape the HTML to obtain it. There’s a demonstration of that at