Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Command Recall on AIX

One of the most frustrating things about working with unix is the lack of a user interface, everything is command line. Try explaining stuff like awk, grep, vi and ls to new users and the complaints start to roll in. What tops the list has to be the lack of command recall using the arrow keys. We've all been conditioned that pressing up-arrow will bring back the previous command so we can make edits instead of typing the whole thing over again.

No more. Below is a short series of commands that can be added to a .profile that will enable the arrow keys to behave in unix like they do in DOS:

set -o emacs
alias __A='^P'
alias __B='^N'
alias __C='^F'
alias __D='^B' 

Note that ^P refers to the keysequence control-p while editing the file using vi, so actually typing in the characters probably won't work.
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  1. Now you just need to show me how to add these to my .profile. :)

  2. Just use vi .profile and copy paste the above into the file. The next time you log in the arrow keys should be working.


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