Every time I hit tab to list the possible filename matches of the dir that I'm in against the specified partial filename, bash lists the possible matches and breaks onto a new line.

Does anyone know if it's possible to change this behavior such that the possible matches are listed below the command currently being typed, but the command focus stays where it was without breaking onto a new line. If a repeated tab press should reveal a different set of matches than previously shown, then the previously shown filename matches would be erased on screen and replaced with the new results.

I used zsh for the past year or so and it was capable of this, although I don't know if that functionality was inherent to zsh or if there was some config forcing the behavior (I don't have access to that machine anymore, so I can't check).

The zsh behavior that I had before, and which I'm trying to emulate, also provided auto-completion by cycling through each of the possible listed matches by repeatedly hitting tab after the list has been shown (provided that the specified partial filename has not been changed that would result in a new list of possible filename matches - I am aware that the cycle auto-complete functionality can be achieved by binding 'TAB:menu-complete' in config).

If relevant, the zsh shell that I was using before was running on RHEL. I'm currently running bash on Ubuntu.


This is zsh-specific display behaviour; bash doesn't support it. You can either get used to it, or install zsh on your Ubuntu system.

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.