BASH Shell setup filename tab-completion case insensitive

by on August 16, 2007 · 8 comments· LAST UPDATED August 16, 2007

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Q. I’m using BASH shell filename tab completion feature to complete file names and other stuff. However default tab-completion in bash case-sensitive. It cannot show me /tmp/Y* or /tmp/Y* files. How do I force filename tab-completion in bash case insensitive?

A. According to bash man page completion-ignore-case set to Off. If set to On, readline performs filename matching and completion in a case-insensitive fashion. Readline has variables that can be used to further customize its behavior. A variable may be set in the /etc/inputrc file with a statement of the form. So all you have to do is type following command:
$ set completion-ignore-case on

You need to add set completion-ignore-case on to /etc/inputrc command:
vi /etc/inputrc
Append text as follows:
set completion-ignore-case on
Close and save the file. For more information read bash man page.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Corey Hart August 17, 2007 at 4:16 am

For tcsh / zsh users:

set complete enhance


2 B.Su September 14, 2007 at 10:55 am

Thanks to you. This enabled me to explore further on input configurations and startup settings


3 B.Su September 14, 2007 at 10:58 am

Thanks to you. This enabled me to explore /etc more and will be helpful in startup settings and input configurations.


4 Rob January 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Doesn’t work.


5 Rob January 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Last one was meant @Corey Hart. WP does not seem to take into account which Reply button was clicked, quite surprising behavior…


6 Ted Feng April 27, 2012 at 2:06 am

should be
$ bind ‘set completion-ignore-case on’
to activate it immediately.


7 Ted Feng Fan October 18, 2012 at 8:28 am

Thanks Ted Fang.


8 Joe November 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm

You should make this change in ~/.inputrc when the setting is to apply to a single user.


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