I ultimately want to alias screen -r.

I mostly want to do this because that command has an awesome tab completion feature that shows me the current GNU screen sessions. I want that power with the alias.

This led me to ask a more general question. How would I view the tab completion function for the command screen -r or further, any command?

  • 1
    help complete – Cyrus Jul 29 '15 at 18:35

Ok, so there are three different things going on in the question:

1) To look up the bash completion function of a command complete -p <command> does the trick. In this case complete -p screen yields complete -o default -F _screen screen

2) Bash completion will take arguments. In the case of screen -r, the screen bash completion function gets called with -r as an argument. You may then auto-complete conditionally from there.

3) On Ubuntu, /etc/bash_completion.d/screen has the screen completion function defined.

So the way I aliased screen -r and kept the completion function was as follows.


alias scr="screen -r"
function _complete_scr() {
    local does_screen_exist=$(type -t _screen_sessions)
    local cur=$2 # Needed by _screen_sessions
    if [[ "function" = "${does_screen_exist}" ]]; then
        _screen_sessions "Detached"
export -f _complete_scr
complete -F _complete_scr -o default scr

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