I'm using Xubuntu and connecting over RemoteDesktop with Windows 7.

Everything works fine, but the auto_completion in my bash doesn't work. I checked the .bashrc file in my home directory and also the /etc/bash.bashrc.

I uncommend the lines below in my local bashrc configuration and also in bash.bashrc, but nothing changes.

if ! shopt -oq posix; then
  if [ -f /usr/share/bash-completion/bash_completion ]; then
    . /usr/share/bash-completion/bash_completion
  elif [ -f /etc/bash_completion ]; then
    . /etc/bash_completion
  • I am very curious as to why this only shows up on remote sessions but not on sessions directly logged in on the console. It happens with either VNC or XRDP - which is not surprising as behind the covers XRDP just invokes VNC to do the rendering. It is I presume because the X server built into VNC is different from the Xorg one but it is still puzzling why this occurs - after all the change suggested here should only affect the "Super-Tab" key combo not the simple "Tab" key. Does this imply that somehow VNC is always showing the "Super" key depressed when tab is hit? And as a final point, I hav
    – user273641
    Apr 24, 2014 at 14:19
  • This issue is still present in Xubuntu 14.04 when using VNC. And implementig the change fix the issue. Remember to search the second occurence of "Super> Tab" like explained in the steeldriver answer; it's in the "custom" section.
    – user294420
    Jun 17, 2014 at 17:15
  • @user294420 I couldnt quite understand the change to be employed can I have a little more explanation?
    – Sohaib
    Sep 6, 2014 at 6:47
  • possible duplicate of xrdp tab does not work Jun 10, 2015 at 14:31
  • 1
    This is still broken in xubuntu 16.04
    – yms
    Oct 13, 2016 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


You may find that this is a more general issue with interception of the Tab key under remote XFCE4 sessions, rather than a problem with bash completion itself.

I had a similar issue running XFCE4 over VNC and the workaround for me was to edit the ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts.xml file to unset the following mapping

<       <property name="&lt;Super&gt;Tab" type="string" value="switch_window_key"/>
>       <property name="&lt;Super&gt;Tab" type="string" value="empty"/>

Note that there may be two entries, and the first already has the value "empty". If this is the case, edit the second entry.
I found this solution online somewhere and can't really take credit for it.

  • 1
    Good shot, but i found this issue also with google. This property has already this value at my xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts.xml by default. The link: codebangers.com/?p=134 Oct 1, 2013 at 15:59
  • Damn. I wounder why this value is by default "empty". Checked this with less and find a second entry. But this time with the value "switch_window_key". Changed > restart > works!!!! Thank you :) Oct 1, 2013 at 16:09
  • 1
    @steeldriver I couldnt quite understand the change to be employed can I have a little more explanation?
    – Sohaib
    Sep 6, 2014 at 6:48
  • 1
    Edit that file and replace switch_window_key with empty on that line. I used nano to edit the file. I then restarted VNC with sudo service vncserver restart. It just worked for me. Oct 27, 2015 at 21:12
  • I was sure this was an RDP issue. I was wrong. Thanks for this.
    – Jon Carter
    Jul 26, 2017 at 1:43

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