Oneiric Upgrade Breaks Readline (Alt-B and Alt-F) in gnome-terminal
Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot (11.10) pulls in gnome-terminal 3.0
As with all distribution upgrades, the recently-released Oneiric Ocelot (Ubuntu 11.10) pulls in a slew of package upgrades. One of those upgrades was gnome-terminal, which was bumped from version 2.32.1 to 3.0.1. Unfortunately, this upgrade introduced a major problem for someone used to using
Alt+F to move around the command line (for moving one word backward and forward, respectively).
Alt-F opens the File menu. This behavior catches me off-guard every time I begin using the terminal in a freshly-installed environment. The problem was easily fixed, however, by deselecting View→Show Menubar. This change can be made permanent by going to Edit→Profile Preferences and deselecting Show menubar by default in new terminals.
The latest gnome-terminal introduces Unity awareness
With the upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10, however, this change is no longer enough. Even with the option set as laid out above, gnome-terminal swallows
Alt-F (though it does still allow
Alt-Backspace for deleting the previous word). If you are used to using shortcuts like this, you will understand the frustration of having your workflow (and thought process) interrupted when a productive habit no longer works.
Go to Edit→Keyboard Shortcuts and deselect Enable menu access keys (such as Alt+F to open the File menu). Breathe easy as your command-line effectiveness returns to you.
Thanks go to Bryan Murdock whose old blog post pointed me in the right direction.