Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
Using the Linux Command Line: Tab Completion and Command History

One of the misconceptions about Linux is that it requires complex commands to perform tasks. However, this is no longer the case. The Linux desktop has come a long way, and you can now use it without ever needing to run a single command.

That being said, some users find the power of the Linux CLI (Command Line Interface) enticing. As someone who has been using Linux for decades, I still rely on the command line for certain tasks because it can be incredibly efficient. Tab completion and command history are two features that make using the Linux command line even easier.

Tab completion is a helpful feature that allows you to quickly complete commands. Let’s say you know there’s a command you need to run, but you can’t recall the exact name. You remember it starts with “sys,” but that’s all. With tab completion, you can simply type “systemc” and press Tab, and the rest of the command (e.g., systemctl) will be automatically filled out.

Command history is another useful feature. By scrolling through your command history using the up arrow key, you can quickly find and rerun previously entered commands. This is especially handy for complex commands that you don’t want to retype or when you can’t remember the exact command you used earlier.

These tricks work on any Linux distribution, as both tab completion and command history are built into the command line interface of the open-source operating system. By incorporating these features into your workflow, you’ll find that using the Linux CLI becomes less daunting.

In conclusion, the Linux command line has evolved to a point where running commands is no longer necessary for everyday tasks. However, for users who appreciate its power, features like tab completion and command history can greatly enhance the efficiency of their workflow.