Restricted tab-completion is annoying

Aaron C. de Bruyn ubuntu-devel-discuss at
Wed Oct 10 21:23:22 UTC 2007

Today a website generated a PDF file for me automatically and firefox popped up and asked if I wanted to download it.  I hit 'OK' and it saved 'genpdf.asp' into my downloads folder.  I was surprised to find bash wouldn't tab-complete the filename.

Apparently there is new (newer than dapper) bash completion code that restricts completed files based on the initial part of the command.  (/etc/bash_completion)

I think this sucks.  I spend a lot of time at the bash prompt and use tab-completion constantly.  When you are in bash, I would expect you sorta know what you are doing.

One example of where I *will* have issues is if I upgrade my home media server from Dapper to Gutsy.
It stores all the video from my camcorder, copies of all my CDs and DVDs, pictures from digital cameras, etc...
Most of the files don't have an extension because file extensions are sorta useless in Linux.

If I upgrade to Gutsy it appears I won't be able to type in 'mplayer StarTrek-Wrath<TAB>' and have it fill in 'StarTrek-Wrath_of_Kahn'.

So I guess I have two questions

* Why does the tab-completion code that restricts based on command-names exist?  What benefit does this restriction have to power users??

* If it's here to stay, what is the official 'ubuntu way' to disable it for people who don't like it.  It appears /etc/bash_completion is owned by the bash package.  If I upgrade bash, will it come back?  I want it off my servers and workstations perminantly.  I see nothing in /etc/defaults.


More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list