If i'm writing a long command or just typing an extensive file path, is there any that i can "reuse" it with some command shortcut?


1.cp /home/myuser/really/big/file/here/and/there.png /home/myuser/really/big/file/here/and/there.png.bkp

Do i really have to type it all over again?

3 Answers 3


Use brace expansion

cp /home/myuser/really/big/file/here/and/there.png{,.bkp}
  • 1
    +1 and you can go even shorter: cp /home/myuser/really/big/file/here/and/there.{,.bkp} Jun 8, 2011 at 22:53
  • @peth: Oops, yes, you're correct. So we can actually go even shorter: cp /home/myuser/really/big/file/here/and/there{,.bkp} :) Jun 16, 2011 at 22:58

Also, history expansion can work here:

cp /home/myuser/really/big/file/here/and/there.png !#:1.bkp

where the !#:1 part refers to the first argument of the command you're currently typing.


You can save lots of time typing that by using tab expansion, the tilde shortcut, and command history.

For instance,


(where [tab] means "press the Tab key") would expand to


You could also type

cp /home/myuser/really/big/file/here/and/there.png /some/destination

then press up-arrow and just change the last three letters of the filename

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.