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Using basic Emacs keybindings in Gnome-Terminal

2010/01/15

Summary: Use basic Emacs keyboard shortcuts (ie navigation) in Gnome-Terminal while using the Bash shell. This post is only interesting for people familiar with Emacs.

This is so simple that I almost afraid to post it…

…One of those things that has been bothering you for years(!), but was never urgent enough to invest time figuring out how to fix…

Problem:

You’re used to Emacs shortcuts. Bash (and many other shells) support Emacs keybindings out of the box. But your default terminal comes with a stupid menu bar. So you press M-d (Emacs’ “kill-word”; for non-Emacs users: this corresponds to the key sequence Alt-d) and end up calling the “File” menu entry of the Gnome-Terminal (File is called “Datei” in German, which is my LOCAL). If you your LOCAL settings are English, you will have the same problem with the Emacs shortcut M-f (in Emacs this is “word-forward”): The Gnome-Terminal will grap the key sequence and open the “File” menu.

Solution:

  1. Open your Gnome-Terminal
  2. Edit -> Keyboard shortcuts -> DISABLE ALL MENU ACCESS KEYS (If you have German settings the menu entry is called: “Bearbeiten -> Tastenkombinationen -> Alle Menükürzel aktivieren”. Disable the checkbox..)

That’s it.

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  1. 2010/01/15 at 23:49 | #1

    Thanks for that tip! Alternatively you can disable these menus alltogether, if you don’t use them: simply uncheck “Ansicht”->”Menüleiste anzeigen”.

  2. draptik
    2010/01/16 at 00:12 | #2

    Arrgh! Thanks for the pointer. Your solution is better. I’ll edit my original entry….

  3. Jordi
    2010/04/30 at 23:56 | #3

    It’s been bothering me for years! Thank you!!

  4. 2010/08/09 at 08:43 | #4

    Don’t be afraid to post it. It helps me a lot! Thanks!

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