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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2012
    Terminal: stuck in a ">" line
    I've searched the web for an answer to this and all I get is manuals on how to use "VIM." I don't have that nor do I want it. Anyways, when I'm in Terminal typing commands, every now and then I may type something wrong and I'll be put on the next line down preceded by a ">" and am unable to get out of lines starting with ">" even if I hit enter. For a visual example:

    Last login: Sun Jun 30 18:22:37 on _______
    ___________:~ _____$ command command command blah blah
    > type something and hit enter
    > oh look another line why can't I exit this
    > exit
    > logout
    > oh that didn't work
    > etc.

    Anywho, I can exit this annoying ">" line by closing the Terminal window, but of course that terminates the running process and makes me retype everything I went through to return to that point. Perhaps there's a hotkey combination I'm unaware of that can exit the ">" lines. Thanks for reading!


  2. #2

    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2012

    Turns out skimming through other forums on mac-forums led me to a list of shortcuts, which (after trying them all) ONE did the trick!!! Ctrl-d is what I was looking for. Cheers!

  3. #3

    cradom's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 14, 2004
    Groves, Texas
    13in macbook - 10.11 --- 21in. iMac 10.11 --- HP win 8
    Just so you know:
    CtrlC tells the terminal to send a SIGINT to the current foreground process, which by default translates into terminating the application. CtrlD tells the terminal that it should register a EOF on standard input, which bash interprets as a desire to exit.
    Depending on whats happening one or the other should work.

  4. #4

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
    27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 5 & 5S, iPod Nano 7th Gen, iPad 2 16GB WiFi, iPad 3
    Bash will give you that symbol if you enter a command that needs multiple arguments to succeed..on the other hand, if you put in the argument that causes the command to kick off, then you won't need to hit CTRL-d to break out of it..

    For example, if you do
    $ while [ 1 ];
    > do
    > echo "Hello"
    > sleep 1
    > done
    The 'done' here is the final keyword/argument to the 'while' command to get started, so I immediately start seeing my Hello message showing up one every second.

    When you use the history (up arrow) to see what command BASH executed, you see
    while [ 1 ]; do echo "Hello"; sleep 1; done
    On the other hand, a common use of this BASH tactic is to create a new file with something like
    $ cat > file.txt << EOF
    > This is line one
    > and line two
    > and so on
    > EOF
    The result of this is:
    $ cat file.txt
    This is line one
    and line two
    and so on

    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

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