I often use the +O shortcut in bash (from "Learning the bash Shell"):

[G]o back to [a command in history] and press +O instead of . This will execute the command and bring up the next command in the history file. Press +O again to enter this command and bring up the next one.

It seems this shortcut is not available on OS X; +O simply does nothing. A web search turns up the suggestion to use the ! bash builtin, but I don't see how I can accomplish the same thing as +O with it.

Is it possible to somehow get +O behavior in Terminal.app on OS X?

  • The ⌃+O shortcut works as you describe in MacOs 14 Sonoma in 2023 under zsh (but not bash).
    – abulka
    Nov 18 at 22:32

2 Answers 2


+O is, for some reason (probably having to do with it being used for flow control on some kinds of serial connections) set to be discarded by the terminal driver (i.e. not Terminal.app, but the part of the OS between it and the shell). You can get rid of this with the command stty discard undef. To make this change permanent, add this command to your .bash_profile and .bashrc files.

  • 1
    If Ctrl+O or ^O isn't working to open a mailbox in your mutt sidebar, this may be the cure.
    – evanb
    Jun 16, 2020 at 23:14

man bash might help. The "READLINE" and "Readline Key Bindings" talk about binding the key presses available and how to set up readline's defaults.

Also Bash Emacs Editing Mode Cheat Sheet and Working Productively in Bash's Vi Command Line Editing Mode (with Cheat Sheet) are good for figuring out what keypress does what if you are using vi mode instead of the default emacs. In either case bind -P | grep found will show you what key combinations are configured in vi mode and bind -P will show everything available.

  • 2
    Wow, I had no idea there was vi-mode available in bash! This is beyond sweet. Thanks!
    – Mike Mazur
    Oct 18, 2010 at 13:07
  • 3
    I felt the same way when I discovered it was available.
    – Greg
    Oct 19, 2010 at 7:29
  • me too me too :) Dec 4, 2010 at 6:58

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