I usually use CTRL+Left and CTRL+Right to navigate between words on the command-line. I switched my laptop on this morning and can no longer do that. Instead, the CTRL+Left input code gets printed in the terminal.

Ie: Here's my output when I try to navigate with CTRL+Left:

~ $ test test ;5D;5D;5D

Curiously, I can still use CTRL+Left/Right just fine in VIM.

  • Mayne you put something in your bashrc to enable this? Because it doesn't work by default for me on Ubuntu 15.10... – Martin Tournoij Mar 11 '16 at 10:21
  • Please post the output of grep bind ~/.bashrc . Are you sourcing other files in ~/.bashrc (grep source ~/.bashrc)? – kos Mar 11 '16 at 13:23
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    Just curious, but what is the output of echo $0? – Aaron Mar 11 '16 at 15:27

Open ~/.inputrc file and add the following lines:

# mappings for Ctrl-left-arrow and Ctrl-right-arrow for word moving
"\e[1;5C": forward-word
"\e[1;5D": backward-word

Close and reopen shell.Now you should be able to use those keys.

Reasons for this behavior ? Not quite certain. For some reason or the other your bash stopped reading /etc/inputrc file, but it should be reading the one in your home folder

  • I think this issue started for me when I created a ~/.inputrc file. Would that do it? – wjandrea Dec 1 '17 at 4:30
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    @wjandrea yep, I tested that just now. Prior to having blank ~/.inputrc the bash worked fine, started showing same control characters for output once blank ~/.inputrc was created. Removed it - Ctrl+arrow keys work again. strace reveals that if .inputrc exists, bash won't read /etc/inputrc. I'll mess around with this a bit more and update my answer – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Dec 1 '17 at 5:03

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