I'm using RPi on Debian GNU/Linux 7.9 (wheezy) with bash, and have a problem with tab completion.

By default, it only shows the first match, even if there are more. If I press TAB more, nothing happens, there are four as you can see: enter image description here

When I edit /etc/inputrc and add this to the end: "\C-i": menu-complete

I get this weird result, first tab shows first match, second tab adds another one, and starts to cycle through.

enter image description here

I want first tab to show first match, and then concurrent tabs to cycle through. Any ideas? :)

  • 1
    It seems to have worked when i edited .inputrc (which didn't exist) and added TAB: menu-complete. What is the difference between /etc/inputrc and .inputrc?
    – Niclas
    Jul 12, 2017 at 9:23

2 Answers 2


Nothing wierd!

You are trying to execute a python command which is only valid for python files (*.py & *.pyc). There may be others, but I don't know that much.

If you try nano (or ls, as you did), then TAB, it will auto-complete all four!


/etc/inputrc provide settings on global environment, ~/.inputrc contains users settings, i.e.: if you create a new user, you find the same issue you have now fixed until create new ~/.inputrc on this new user's home

  • So the format in these two files differ? That really doesn't explain the (from what I find) strange behaviour, and why it works while inside .inputrc?
    – Niclas
    Jul 12, 2017 at 11:30
  • They are the "same" kind of file, simply /etc/inputrc provide settings on a global level, ~/.inputrc on local user level, if there is no ~/.inputrc the global one is the default settings, also if there is the same settings on both files, the local one win, so you are a user, settings up your own local settings, it works in ~/.inputrc and it is all fine, try to add TAB: menu-complete on your /etc/inputrc and delete ~/.inputrc Jul 12, 2017 at 12:57

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