Tab expansion only auto-completes directory names

Bug #1288031 reported by Simon Déziel on 2014-03-05
This bug affects 29 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
bash-completion (Debian)
Fix Released
bash-completion (Ubuntu)
Matthias Klose

Bug Description

Under bash 4.3, tab expansion only auto-completes directory names. Steps to reproduce:

 # Preparation
 D=$(mktemp -d)
 cd $D
 touch a
 mkdir b c

 # test
 vi # (press tab tab)
b/ c/

Notice the file "a" isn't proposed in the listing, only the 2 directories ("b" and "c").

$ lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu Trusty Tahr (development branch)
Release: 14.04

$ apt-cache policy bash-completion bash
  Installed: 1:2.1-2ubuntu2
  Candidate: 1:2.1-2ubuntu2
  Version table:
 *** 1:2.1-2ubuntu2 0
        500 trusty/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
  Installed: 4.3-1ubuntu2
  Candidate: 4.3-1ubuntu2
  Version table:
 *** 4.3-1ubuntu2 0
        500 trusty/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: bash-completion 1:2.1-2ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-15.35-generic 3.13.5
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-15-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.13.2-0ubuntu5
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Tue Mar 4 21:39:35 2014
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-01-26 (37 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Alpha amd64 (20140124)
PackageArchitecture: all
SourcePackage: bash-completion
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Related branches

Simon Déziel (sdeziel) wrote :
Simon Déziel (sdeziel) wrote :

This is possibly the same as described in

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in bash-completion (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
tags: added: regression-proposed
tags: added: regression-release
removed: regression-proposed
Changed in bash-completion (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Matthias Klose (doko)
importance: Undecided → High
Changed in bash-completion (Debian):
status: Unknown → New
JuanJo Ciarlante (jjo) wrote :

FTR the issue is _quote_readline_by_ref expanding an empty var to '', see:

$ _quote_readline_by_ref '' foo
$ echo $foo

Above MP adds a special case to avoid quoting if empty.

Agus Lopez (itinlopez) wrote :

FWIW, disabling progcomp shell option fixes the problem.

$ shopt -u progcomp
$ vi # <TAB> <TAB>
a b/ c/

From bash manpage (

> progcomp: If set, the programmable completion facilities (see Programmable Completion above) are enabled. This option is enabled by default.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package bash-completion - 1:2.1-2ubuntu4

bash-completion (1:2.1-2ubuntu4) trusty; urgency=medium

  * fix _quote_readline_by_ref to:
    - avoid escaping 1st '~' (lp: #1288314)
    - avoid quoting if empty, else expansion without args only shows dirs
      (lp: #1288031)
    - replace double escaping to single (eg for completing file/paths with
 -- JuanJo Ciarlante <email address hidden> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 19:43:22 -0300

Changed in bash-completion (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
Changed in bash-completion (Debian):
status: New → Fix Released
shanec (shane-cousins) wrote :

Still seeing this issue with python command line scripts. Even after running apt-get update/upgrade for 14.04. ::
import argparse
parser = ArgumentParser(description="bash-completion test")
parser.add_argument("--filename", "-f")
args = parser.parse_args()
print 'Filename: {}'.format(args.filename)

$ python -f ~/[tab] [tab] [tab]

only returns directories, no files are listed.

$lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Release: 14.04

$ apt-cache policy bash-completion bash
  Installed: 1:2.1-4
  Candidate: 1:2.1-4
  Version table:
 *** 1:2.1-4 0
        500 trusty/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
  Installed: 4.3-7ubuntu1
  Candidate: 4.3-7ubuntu1
  Version table:
 *** 4.3-7ubuntu1 0
        500 trusty-updates/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     4.3-6ubuntu1 0
        500 trusty/main amd64 Packages

Ville Skyttä (vskytta) wrote :

FYI, the _quote_readline_by_ref changes should no longer be necessary with bash 4.3 patchlevel 10 and above, that's why they're not applied in upstream bash-completion.

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