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Ubuntu's Terminal uses case-sensitive auto-completion, as I suppose would be expected for Linux.

But I think it would often be more convenient to use a case-insensitive one instead, to save you having to be accurate while starting a name, and would probably be worth the extra false positives. Is it possible to change this behaviour?

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up vote 76 down vote accepted

Open a terminal, run

# If ~./inputrc doesn't exist yet, first include the original /etc/inputrc so we don't override it
if [ ! -a ~/.inputrc ]; then echo '$include /etc/inputrc' > ~/.inputrc; fi

# Add option to ~/.inputrc to enable case-insensitive tab completion
echo 'set completion-ignore-case On' >> ~/.inputrc

Start a new shell / terminal.

to make this change for all users, edit /etc/inputrc

For details, see man bash . Yes it is a long page, but bash is a somewhat complex program, and if you want just search that page for "case-insensitive" to go to the relevant section. People usually learn bash one option at a time or one bash script at a time and it takes a long time to master all the nuances. Your interest may vary.

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Thanks. I appreciate the user-specific/non-admin friendly solution. The echo line seems to have worked, but now I seem to have lost the ability to use Ctrl-Left/Right to move the cursor. Also, would >> be safer than >? – mwfearnley Dec 12 '11 at 6:27
In general >> is going to be safer, my mistake, I was assuming you did not have a ~/.inputrc . I also set noclobber =) Bit sure why your arrow keys are not working, I can not replicate that. You can remove ~/.inputrc and start a new shell. – bodhi.zazen Dec 12 '11 at 6:30
Yeah, it works again if I remove it.. According to the new inputrc might be overriding the global one? – mwfearnley Dec 12 '11 at 7:00
On my system, I can move the cursor with just the arrow keys. – bodhi.zazen Dec 12 '11 at 7:14
@enzotib thanks, that works.. I'd like to accept the above answer, but it would be good to see this issue addressed in it. – mwfearnley Dec 12 '11 at 18:49

Open a terminal and type the below command:

echo set completion-ignore-case on | sudo tee -a /etc/inputrc

Enter password. Restart terminal.

If in some case you want to remove case insensitive, just edit /etc/inputrc file by removing the set completion-ignore-case line.

That's all.

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OK, I clarified that for you. It takes a while to learn about bash, but keep exploring, reading, and asking. is a popular start ;) – bodhi.zazen Dec 14 '11 at 16:46
In case there is more than one user, this changes it for all, which may or may not be the desired behavior – Walter Tross Jun 19 '15 at 17:35
by far the most straight forward and simplistic answer here – workabyte Jun 30 at 21:31

I know this question is very old but unless I am missing something I think I have a super simple solution if you are using bash.

echo "bind 'set completion-ignore-case on'" >> ~/.bashrc

Or just add the line using your favorite text editor. Restart your bash session and enjoy.

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Well, you're missing something: ~/.inputrc is read by readline, which is what bash uses to provide this completion. Readline is also used by other programs, so, for generally setting this, ~/.inputrc as suggested the accepted answer would be better. – muru Jan 31 at 2:50
Thanks for your suggestion, it teaches me a little more, but I have to say that it doesn't seem any simpler than the one I accepted, which just uses an additional line to ensure the new file doesn't nullify the old. – mwfearnley Feb 1 at 20:52

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