Mar 192012

I’m really lazy, a quality that I firmly believe to be the hallmark of a good sysadmin. This is borne out by Larry Wall’s (Perl creator) “Virtues of a Programmer”.

That’s what I told them at my last exit interview, anyway.

So as part of this, you’ve got to learn how to crunch the bash command line as quickly as possible. It allows you to work faster, type less, and get back to doing something else. These are, I believe the ones I use the most, and which have become second nature.

Search history backwards Ctrl-R
Line kill Ctrl-U
Word kill Ctrl-W
Clear screen Ctrl-L
Clear to end of line Ctrl-K
Clear to end of word Ctrl-D
Yank back kill Ctrl-Y
Forward word Esc-F
Back word Esc-B

Use these and intimidate lesser sysadmins with your bash power.

Matt Parsons is a freelance Linux specialist who has designed, built and supported Unix and Linux systems in the finance, telecommunications and media industries.

He lives and works in London.

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