In bash emacs mode, is there anyway to delete till the previous slash character? For example if i entered the command cp /usr/local/bin/reallylongincorrectfolder /home/myname/reallylong_and_correct_path and want to just delete the reallylongincorrectfolder.Is there any shortcut? This is a very comman scenario for me in bash. Something like dF<char> in vi?

bind -P |grep unix-filename-rubout

To test out the keybinding with eg. Ctrl-b:

bind \\C-b:unix-filename-rubout

For permanent usage, add it to ~/.inputrc

  • 2
    To add it to ~/.inputrc, add a line like this to that file: "\C-b": unix-filename-rubout. To see the effect, you'll have to start a new bash shell (or run some other program that uses the GNU readline library). Jul 29 '18 at 10:50

Alt-Backspace and Ctrl-w are commonly mapped to backward-kill-word, which does that. If you want to find out what it's mapped to on your system (if anything), run bind -P | grep '^backward-kill-word'.

As explained by @Barmar, this is different from unix-word-rubout, which removes to the previous space boundary.

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    But that will kill the entire word.. I want to kill only till the last slash
    – woodstok
    Jun 11 '13 at 8:59
  • It does remove only to the last slash here. Slash is one of the default word separators. Are you sure you're using Bash?
    – l0b0
    Jun 11 '13 at 9:01
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    Ctl-w is normally bound to unix-word-rubout: Kill the word behind point, using white space as a word boundary.
    – Barmar
    Jun 11 '13 at 10:31
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    This doesn't exactly work. "Words are composed of alphanumeric characters (letters and digits)". Hence it'll stop at much more than just slashes. The default-unbound unix-filename-rubout is slightly better, since it'll stop at white space and slash.
    – Sparhawk
    May 4 '14 at 1:16
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    alt + backspace deletes until /, thus answering the question. ctrl + w on the other hand deletes until the previous space. Feb 20 '17 at 9:49

Put this in your .inputrc and start a new shell:


Ctrl-b now erases backwards to the next slash.


Don't forget Ctrl-XCtrl-E will launch your editor so you can edit a complicated command line comfortably.

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