Auto-completion Bash (Debian systems)

Using an embedded system linux, that I create with an old Debian 6.0.6 minimal armel and the new kernel 3.8.6, on a Freescale i.MX53 board, I discovered that some linux distributions do not have the bash auto-completion pre-installed.

Yeah, is not a great surprise, but it’s a problem when you use a minimal distribution or a distribution that you don’t know..

So, for the Debian systems, you must only install the package “bash-completion”:

$ sudo apt-get install bash-completion

If the bash-completion doesn’t work, you must modify the file .bash_profile in your home directory, by un-comment these lines:

if [ -f /etc/bash_completion ] && ! shopt -oq posix; then
    . /etc/bash_completion

If you don’t have the file .bash_profile don’t worry: you must use the .bashrc file.If you don’t have the lines, you only have to add the lines to make the bash-completion work.


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