The keyboard at a glance

The table below describes how the character-device drivers interpret various keys and keychords (groups of keys that you press simultaneously). The drivers handle these keys as soon as you type them.

Your keyboard might not behave as indicated if:
  • The driver is in raw input mode instead of edited input mode.
  • You're working with an application that has complex requirements for user interaction (e.g. the application might take control over how the keyboard works).


  • You're working at a terminal that has keyboard limitations.
If you want to: Press:
Move the cursor to the left ← (left arrow)
Move the cursor to the right → (right arrow)
Move the cursor to the start of a line Home
Move the cursor to the end of a line End
Delete the character left of the cursor Backspace
Delete the character at the cursor Del
Delete all characters on a line Ctrl U
Toggle between insert and typeover modes (if an application supports them) Ins
Submit a line of input or start a new line Enter
Recall a command (see below) ↑ or ↓ (up or down arrow)
Suspend the displaying of output Ctrl S
Resume the displaying of output Ctrl Q
Attempt to kill a process Ctrl C or Ctrl Break
Indicate end of input (EOF) Ctrl D
Clear the terminal Ctrl L

When you use the up or down arrow, the character-device driver passes a back or forward command to the shell , which recalls the actual command.