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Linux, Unix, and *nix like Operating Systems Forum

How to get back to a clean command prompt?!?
Driving me crazy...

 11:38 am on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)


I'm spending a lot of time on Unix boxes at the moment, and one productivity tip I really would like to know is how to wipe out whatever I've typed into the command line, without having to sit holding down the backspace key....

I know it's possible, as an ex-colleague once showed me many moons ago. Searching the web brings up results relating to "clear", which is not what I want - I simply want to revert to a nice clean command prompt, with one keystroke!

Any tips?



 12:21 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

CTRL+l (letter "L") clears the terminal. PageDown may do what you want.


 12:49 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reply - but CTRL+L clears my window and takes the prompt up to the top of the window, however it still leaves my prompt as it was, i.e. not empty :-(

(Good tip though!)


 12:57 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Did you try the PageDown key? It is all going to depend on the bash interpreter you are running and how it is configured. See the GNU bash manual [gnu.org] for one point of reference.


 12:58 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)



 1:03 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

You can use the kill backward command, which is in your shell interpreter probably assigned to Ctrl-U. It deletes all characters from the current position of your cursor to the beginning of the line.

The Ctrl-k key does the opposite: clear all characters from the current cursor position to the end of the line.


 1:06 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

This has been bugging me so much, I actually tracked down my ex-colleague, here's what he said:

Ctrl-U - deletes to the left
if you're in the middle, Ctrl-K deletes to the right
so I tend to do Ctrl-KU as a habit

Aah, geek productivity tips!


 1:13 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sorry, kudos to lammert, I didn't see his reply before I posted mine. Thanks lammert :-)


 4:46 am on Jul 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I did not know this. What a useful little shortcut! I'm relatively new at command-line Linux; I need to study that GNU bash manual


 11:22 pm on Jul 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

CTRL-R then start typing lets you search your command history. So if you did a command like
mysqldump -u username -p database -a -B>databasebackup.txt

then want to do it again? CTRL-R then hit 'm' and there's the whole command.


 11:09 pm on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

@wheel, most useful command line tip ever! Thanks.

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