Bash is one of the best shell available in Linuix and Unix OS. This is due to it’s capabilities such as

We already discussed about history and shortcuts in some older posts. Today we will see how we can use BASH Shell to do auto complete and file wild-cards.

Auto completion

When we are at prompt we can press press TAB to autocomplete commands, chang directories, removing files/directories etc. We will see these as examples below for better understanding.

Example1: Execute lsdiff command to see if any files are modified by using auto complete without executing entire command.

ls<press tab>

Below commands are displayed to see which commands starts with ls

ls           lsb_release  lshw         lsof         lspgpot      
lsattr       lscpu        lsinitramfs  lspci        lss16toppm   
lsblk        lsdiff       lsmod        lspcmcia     lsusb   

Now if you type d then press <tab> it will complete the lsdiff command as shown below because there is no other command which start with lsd name.


Example2: Directory structure autocompletion. Suppose I want to open smb.conf which is located in /etc/samba folder we can open this by just typing /et<tab>/sa<tab>/sm<tab> to open /etc/samba/smb.conf file.

vi /et<tab>

vi /etc/sa<tab>

vi /etc/samba/sm<tab>

vi /etc/samba/smb.conf


Example3: Bash support wildcards. Delete all the files which are .sh file extension by using *.

rm -rf *.sh

Example4: I want to list all the files which starts with file and ends with .txt and having one character in between them.

ls -l file?.txt

This command will list all the files such as file1.txt, filea.txt, filez.txt etc.

Example5: List all the files which ends with a or b or c and start with file.

ls -l file[abc]

This will list filea, fileb and filec

Example6: List all the files which end with a to z, how can I do that?

ls -l file[a-z]

lists the files from filea, fileb to filec.

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Mr Surendra Anne is from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is a Linux/Open source supporter who believes in Hard work, A down to earth person, Likes to share knowledge with others, Loves dogs, Likes photography. He works as Devops Engineer with Taggle systems, an IOT automatic water metering company, Sydney . You can contact him at surendra (@) linuxnix dot com.