Restricted tab-completion is annoying

Matt Price matt.price at
Thu Oct 11 02:10:13 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-10-11 at 08:20 +0800, Joel Bryan Juliano wrote:
> On 10/11/07, Aaron C. de Bruyn <ubuntu-devel-discuss at>
> wrote:
>         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'. 

you can of course modify tab-completion by
modifying /etc/bash_completion and the files in /etc/bash_completion.d
that might be what you want to do.

there are lots and lots of reasons to have program-specific
tab-completion.  for instance, having acroread complete only .pdf files
means that the small number of pdf's in my home directory are easy to
find when i start acroread.


> -- 
> "object-oriented programming is really just a common sense extension
> of structured programming" - Roger Sessions
Matt Price
matt.price at
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