Consider the following bash prompt, where ^ denotes the prompt location:

$ git commit -am "[bug 123456] Do this and that with the bug"

Suppose that I want to commit again to the same bug, with a different commit message. Is there a way to delete the text from the cursor position till the end of line?


Use Ctrl+K to delete from the cursor to the end of the line.

Use Ctrl+U to delete from the cursor to the beginning of the line.

  • What is the key combination to put? – ShooShoSha Aug 21 '18 at 0:44
  • @ShooShoSha, Try Shift + Insert – user128285 Aug 21 '18 at 5:31
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    what are the meanings of K and U, I can not recall this next week if I donot know the meanings, how to remember them? – http8086 Jan 18 '19 at 8:52
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    @hylepo Dunno but my mnemonic is Brexit - the UK leaves Europe - U deletes to the beginning and K to the end. – Snowcrash Feb 5 '19 at 14:05

It depends on whether you are using vi(set -o vi) or emacs(set -o emacs) editing mode within your shell.

By default, your shell generally defaults to emacs editing mode.

  • In emacs mode, deleting to the end of the line can be accomplished by using the command ctrl-k.

  • If, however, you happen to be using vi editing mode in your command shell, the same result can be accomplished by typing Esc(which will place you in command mode) followed by d-$(if you want to delete the entire line, enter dd).

If you are uncertain as to which editing mode that you are currently using in your shell, enter the command set -o from the command line and you will be able to determine which editing mode that you are currently using:

set -o
emacs           on
vi              off

To switch your command-line editing mode, simply type either:

set -o vi


set -o emacs
  • 4
    If you want a mnemonic, the K stands for kill (the line starting from cursor position). – Gregor Botero Mar 17 '13 at 13:53
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    In vi command mode, D works the same as d$ – glenn jackman Mar 17 '13 at 16:54
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    +1 for actually writing the right answer and explaining that shellopts may change it. – TC1 Mar 17 '13 at 20:57
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    >> Thanks. It seems that I'm using vi, so CTRL+K does the trick. – Adam Matan Adam, then that's emacs-mode you're in, not vi. – catch22 Mar 19 '13 at 19:14
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    In Kubuntu oneiric (konsole), Ctrl+K and ESC Shift+D both work. ESC d deletes some of the line (maybe up to a ';'). (Typing a $ after that just sends the $ to the console.) I've been trying to figure out how to do that for quite awhile. Thanks! – Joe Mar 20 '13 at 18:56

In case you're only familiar with one of Zsh and Bash, here are the equivalent key bindings you (may) need:


bind '"\C-k"':kill-line


bindkey "\C-k"      vi-kill-eol

Other relevant information

To get a list of key bindings:

# bash
bind -p

# zsh
  • I'm confused. For Bash, shouldn't it be "^k" for Control+K ? – wjandrea Sep 25 '17 at 21:18
  • Sorry, that is my personal binding. I would have put the default binding but was not comfortable with bash syntax. Since you've mentioned what it should be I've taken your word for it and edited my post. – Sridhar Sarnobat Sep 25 '17 at 21:30
  • 1
    Oh, OK. I'm not familiar with it myself, but just checked and it should be "\C-k" – wjandrea Sep 25 '17 at 21:41

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