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I want to map my Up/Down arrow keys in bash to Alt+j/Alt+k as I don't want to move my hands to the arrow keys when I choose previously executed commands using Up/Down arrow keys.

Using vi mode in bash is not an option because I don't want to press Esc every now and then while using bash. (as I am not accustomed to doing that)

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Add the following to your ~/.inputrc file, creating it if it doesn't exist:

"\ej": previous-history
"\ek": next-history

This will map Alt-j to previous-history and Alt-k to next-history.

Note that by default these are mapped to Ctrl-p and Ctrl-n anyway.

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Ok, this is one way of achieving what I want. Now that I know about this, I would like to know how can I remap Ctrl-p & Ctrl-n to history-search-backward and history-search-forward. –  shadyabhi Aug 14 '12 at 10:21
    
@shadyabhi By applying what you learned from this answer. Hint: "\C-p" –  Daniel Beck Aug 14 '12 at 10:22
    
Where can I see the documentation of the syntax for defining bindings? Googling for "bash bind documentation" didn't take me the official doc. –  shadyabhi Aug 14 '12 at 10:26
    
@shadyabhi It's in section 8.3.1 of the manual I linked to, with examples in 8.3.3. –  Daniel Beck Aug 14 '12 at 10:28
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