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Here is my scenario:

I want to transfer ~/foo.txt to a server aoneill@bar.

I start typing in my command line:

aoneill@aoneill-Laptop:~$ scp fo

At this point I hit <tab> to complete the file name, and my terminal just freezes up. It won't change based on any keystroke, and the cursor is just stuck right next to the fo, unless I <ctrl-C> out.

I am running Ubuntu 13.10, and I do include . /etc/bash_completion in my .bashrc.

This is the only program I really encounter this issue with, and it doesnt seem to be a common problem.

Thanks for the help!

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I think we need more info to figure this out. Does this happen with every file and every folder? It only happens with scp? Do you have any customizations in ~/.bashrc? What configuration do you have to look up hostnames, is it DNS? –  Kevin Panko Feb 11 '14 at 19:59

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

At this point I hit tab to complete the file name, …

… and the computer, entirely failing to read your mind, did what it actually does when tab is hit at that point, which is try to complete a hostname, possibly consulting all sorts of things from the output of avahi-browse to the output of ruptime. This process can take some time.

(The brave can go and look at the _known_hosts_real function in /usr/share/bash-completion/bash-completion.)

To have completion of a filename at that point, the word that you have typed must either contain a slash (/) character or begin with a dot (.) or a tilde (~) character.

(The brave can similarly see why that is from the _scp function in /usr/share/bash-completion/completions/scp.)

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Perfect! Thank you. I'll keep that in mind when I use ssh/scp in the future! –  AlexO'Neill Feb 14 '14 at 16:48

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