Tip to improve bash history

Thomas Dodd ted at cypress.com
Tue Nov 18 21:02:19 UTC 2003

>> To get this behaviour always add the following two lines to your
>> /etc/inputrc
>> "\M-[A":history-search-backward
>> "\M-[B":history-search-forward
> Can anyone pls explain... what does "\M-[A" translate to in terms of
> keyboard keys?? What's a META key?

Sun keyboards (and other Unix systems?) have <Control>, <Alt>, <Meta> (a 
diamond), <Compose> (a circle), and <Alt Graph> keys. Old unix apps use 
the Meta name. Noprmal the PC keyboar maps the Alt key to <Meta>, since 
you should have a left and right <Meta> key, and that's what PC have. 
New systems use the 3 extra "windows" keys for (true) <Alt>, <Compose> 
and <AltGr> (or can depending oon the X key map).

Newer apps, or Windows ports, use the name Alt, even though they use the 
<Meta> key code. (like Mozilla and GNOME).

> I saw a lot of \e or "\e[3~" but have no idea how to invoke them.

\e is most likely <esc>, the escape key. That's old termal control 
codes. The one you mentioned is probably VT52. type <esc>, then '[', 
then '3', then '~'.

> pls elaborate or tell me where to look for more into.

For escape codes look for terminal documentation. For <meta> and <alt> 
look for xkeyboard documentation.


More information about the fedora-list mailing list