Stupid Terminal tricks: Handy Shourtcuts

Aug 03, 2017

Hello There! Over the years I've collected a few favorite time saving tricks for working in bash or terminal work in general.

This is one I use pretty often while doing support work. w is all the fun of uptime and last in the space of one letter. user is the username of the logged in user. tty shows how they're logged in. from shows the hostname or ip address they're connected from if over ssh. login shows the time or date of the login. idle, jcpu and pcpu are useful for seeing how much cpu time a user is taking up, and the what field shows the current command the user is using.

[root@machine ~]# w
20:56:50 up 2 days,  1:39,  1 user,  load average: 0.12, 0.28, 0.42
USER     TTY      FROM             LOGIN@   IDLE   JCPU   PCPU WHAT
root     pts/0    shruikan.local.t Thu22    2.00s  0.09s  0.06s -bash

This group is super useful if you're like me and make mistakes while typing things out.

  • ctrl + w will remove whatever word you're cursor is in.
  • ctrl + u will clear from the cursor all the way back to the start of the line
  • ctrl + l will clear any lines above the one you're working in and bring your working line to the top of the screen.

!! is an excellent shortcut for appending or prefixing some bit of command you forgot.

bash-4.3$ cat /var/log/secure
cat: /var/log/secure: Permission denied
bash-4.3$ suod !!
bash: suod: command not found

^^ is a great way to fix that typo in your last command.

bash-4.3$ ^od^do
sudo cat /var/log/secure

Ryan Buzzell

Computer Systems Engineer @ Eastman School of Music | Find me on the macadmins slack @rbuzzell