SSH Key Bindings

Recently, I was asked how to set up an SSH client so that Ctrl-right would move forward a word. Here are some things I learned along the way.

It turns out different SSH clients send different keycodes for the same keys! Anne Baretta describes an easy way to see what your client is sending to the terminal:

The best way to trouble-shoot is using Ctrl-v key. Press Control and v simultaneously, release them, and then type one of the special keys, e.g. Delete. It will tell you which sequence will be sent to the terminal (console or xterm).

When SSH’ing into my server using PuTTY Ctrl-v Ctrl-right produced


Using SecureCRT Ctrl-v Ctrl-right produced nothing. Regardless of which client I used, Ctrl-right did not move me forward a word.

Anne Baretta notes, “\e means ESC.” In SecureCRT I mapped the key combination Ctrl-right to \ef. I knew that ESC-f would move forward a word in bash since most Emacs shortcuts also work in bash.