Keyboard shortcuts

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These are low level shortcuts that are considered to be used for debugging. Whenever possible, it is recommended to use these instead of doing a hard shutdown (holding power button to shutdown the motherboard).

Must be activated first with echo "1" > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq or if you wish to have it enabled during boot, edit /etc/sysctl.conf and set kernel.sysrq = 1

A common idiom to remember this is "Reboot Even If System Utterly Broken" (also referred to as "REISUB").

Keyboard Shortcut Description
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+ Unraw Take control of keyboard back from X.
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+ Terminate Send SIGTERM to all processes, allowing them to terminate gracefully.
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+ Kill Send SIGKILL to all processes, forcing them to terminate immediately.
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+ Sync Flush data to disk.
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+ Unmount Unmount and remount all filesystems read-only.
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+ Reboot Reboot

See Magic SysRq key - Wikipedia for more details.


Virtual console

Keyboard Shortcut Description
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Reboots Computer (specified in /etc/inittab)
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress, Template:Keypress, Template:Keypress, ... Switch to n-th virtual console
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Switch to previous virtual console
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Switch to next virtual console
Template:Keypress When Scroll Lock is activated, input/output is locked
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress/Template:Keypress Scrolls console buffer up/down
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Kills current task
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Inserts an EOF
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Pauses current Task


GNU readline is a commonly used library for line-editing, it is used for example by bash, ftp and many more (see Arch Package details under "Required By" for more examples). readline is also customizable (see manpage for details).

Keyboard Shortcut Description
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Clear the screen
Cursor Movement
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Move cursor one character to the left
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Move cursor one character to the right
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Move cursor one word to the left
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Move cursor one word to the right
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Move cursor to start of the line
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Move cursor to end of the line
Copy & Paste
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Cut everything from line start to cursor
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Cut everything from the cursor to end of the line
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Cut the current word after the cursor
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Cut the current word before the cursor
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Paste the previous cut text
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Paste the second latest cut text
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Paste the first argument of the previous command
Template:Keypress+Template:KeypressorTemplate:Keypress Paste the last argument of the previous command
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Move to the previous line
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Move to the next line
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Search
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Reverse search
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress End search
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Abort search (restores original line)
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Restores all changes made to line
Template:Keypress Auto-complete a name
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress List all possible completions
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Insert all possible completions


Keyboard Shortcut Description
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress, Template:Keypress, Template:Keypress, ... Switch to n-th virtual console
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress/Template:Keypress Switch to higher/lower available resolutions
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Kills X-server (This may not work for recent updates.)
Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress Toggles keyboard mouse; uses numpad, mouse click is done by Template:Keypress, use Template:Keypress, Template:Keypress, and Template:Keypressto switch the click to left, middle, and right click
Copy selected text to clipboard, or paste from clipboard

xkeyboard-config disable keyboard mouse by default after the version 2.0.1.To enable it, changing the following line in /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/pc:

key <NMLK> { [ Num_Lock ] }; 

back to as it was in version 2.0.1:

key <NMLK> { [ Num_Lock, Pointer_EnableKeys ] };