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Five Timesavers for Typing in a Terminal

If you haven’t used a terminal application in a while, you may be pleasantly surprised at the editing capabilities supported by the Linux GNOME terminal and similar applications. These tips can save you time and trouble when typing in a terminal application.

1. Use autocomplete. You only need to type enough letters for the terminal application to identify your intent. If you have a directory that contains the subdirectories Documents and Downloads, to view the contents of Documents, type:

ls Doc

and press the Tab key. The terminal application completes the command for you:

ls Documents/

2. Use the history to repeat commands. Use the up-arrow key to scroll through the commands you’ve previously executed. Press Enter when you find the one you want.

3. Edit commands. Typo? Don’t start over. Before pressing Enter, you can edit any command using the arrow keys to go to the location you want to edit.

4. Copy and paste. To copy text from anywhere on the terminal screen, select the text with a mouse, right-click, and select Copy. Right-click and select Paste to paste the text at the text cursor’s current location. (Don’t try to copy and paste with Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V as these key combinations have other uses in terminal applications.)

5. Remember that Linux is case-sensitive. Myfile.txt and myfile.txt are different files.