Home/End keys in zsh don't work with putty

Home/End keys in zsh don't work with putty

I'm running zsh as the default shell on a Ubuntu box, and everything works fine using gnome-terminal (which as far as I know emulates xterm). When I login from a windows box via ssh and putty (which also emulates xterm) suddendly the home/end keys no longer work.

I've been able to solve that adding these lines to my zshrc file...

bindkey '\e[1~' beginning-of-line bindkey '\e[4~' end-of-line 

...but I'm still wondering what's wrong here. Any idea?

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The ZSH developers do not think that ZSH should define the actions of the Home, End, Del, ...

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Debian and Ubuntu fix this by defining the normal actions the average user would expect in the global /etc/zsh/zshrc file.

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Following the relevant code (it is the same on Debian and Ubuntu):.
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if [[ "$TERM" != emacs ]]; then [[ -z "$terminfo[kdch1]" ]] || bindkey -M emacs "$terminfo[kdch1]" delete-char [[ -z "$terminfo[khome]" ]] || bindkey -M emacs "$terminfo[khome]" beginning-of-line [[ -z "$terminfo[kend]" ]] || bindkey -M emacs "$terminfo[kend]" end-of-line [[ -z "$terminfo[kich1]" ]] || bindkey -M emacs "$terminfo[kich1]" overwrite-mode [[ -z "$terminfo[kdch1]" ]] || bindkey -M vicmd "$terminfo[kdch1]" vi-delete-char [[ -z "$terminfo[khome]" ]] || bindkey -M vicmd "$terminfo[khome]" vi-beginning-of-line [[ -z "$terminfo[kend]" ]] || bindkey -M vicmd "$terminfo[kend]" vi-end-of-line [[ -z "$terminfo[kich1]" ]] || bindkey -M vicmd "$terminfo[kich1]" overwrite-mode  [[ -z "$terminfo[cuu1]" ]] || bindkey -M viins "$terminfo[cuu1]" vi-up-line-or-history [[ -z "$terminfo[cuf1]" ]] || bindkey -M viins "$terminfo[cuf1]" vi-forward-char [[ -z "$terminfo[kcuu1]" ]] || bindkey -M viins "$terminfo[kcuu1]" vi-up-line-or-history [[ -z "$terminfo[kcud1]" ]] || bindkey -M viins "$terminfo[kcud1]" vi-down-line-or-history [[ -z "$terminfo[kcuf1]" ]] || bindkey -M viins "$terminfo[kcuf1]" vi-forward-char [[ -z "$terminfo[kcub1]" ]] || bindkey -M viins "$terminfo[kcub1]" vi-backward-char  # ncurses fogyatekos [[ "$terminfo[kcuu1]" == "^[O"* ]] && bindkey -M viins "${terminfo[kcuu1]/O/[}" vi-up-line-or-history [[ "$terminfo[kcud1]" == "^[O"* ]] && bindkey -M viins "${terminfo[kcud1]/O/[}" vi-down-line-or-history [[ "$terminfo[kcuf1]" == "^[O"* ]] && bindkey -M viins "${terminfo[kcuf1]/O/[}" vi-forward-char [[ "$terminfo[kcub1]" == "^[O"* ]] && bindkey -M viins "${terminfo[kcub1]/O/[}" vi-backward-char [[ "$terminfo[khome]" == "^[O"* ]] && bindkey -M viins "${terminfo[khome]/O/[}" beginning-of-line [[ "$terminfo[kend]" == "^[O"* ]] && bindkey -M viins "${terminfo[kend]/O/[}" end-of-line [[ "$terminfo[khome]" == "^[O"* ]] && bindkey -M emacs "${terminfo[khome]/O/[}" beginning-of-line [[ "$terminfo[kend]" == "^[O"* ]] && bindkey -M emacs "${terminfo[kend]/O/[}" end-of-line fi 
So, if you are connecting to a Debian or Ubuntu box, you don't have to do anything.

Everything should work automagically (if not, see below).. But...

if you are connecting to another box (e.g.

FreeBSD), there might be no user friendly default zshrc.

The solution is of course to add the lines from the Debian/Ubuntu zshrc to your own .zshrc.. Two. Putty sends xterm as terminal type to the remote host.

But messes up somewhere and doesn't send the correct control codes for Home, End, ...

that one would expect from an xterm.

Or an xterm terminal isn't expected to send those or whatever...

(Del key does work in xterm however, if you configure it in ZSH).

Also notice that your Numpad-keys act funny in Vim for example with xterm terminal.. The solution is to configure Putty to send another terminal type.

I've tried xterm-color and linux.

xterm-color fixed the Home/End problem, but the Numpad was still funny.

Setting it to linux fixed both problems.. You can set terminal type in Putty under Connection -> Data.

Do not be tempted to set your terminal type in your .zshrc with export TERM=linux, that is just wrong.

The terminal type should be specified by your terminal app.

So that if, for example, you connect from a Mac box with a Mac SSH client it can set it's own terminal type.. Notice that TERM specifies your terminal type and has nothing to do with the host you are connecting to.

I can set my terminal type to linux in Putty and connect to FreeBSD servers without problems.. So, fix both these things and you should be fine :).


On the PuTTY configuration dialog, go to Connection -> Data and type linux into the Terminal-type string before connecting..


This is working for me.
bindkey -v  bindkey '\eOH'  beginning-of-line bindkey '\eOF'  end-of-line 


It seems a putty thing.

Gnome-terminal sends the codes ^[OH and ^[OF for Home and End respectively, while putty sends ^[[1~ and ^[[4~.

There's an option in putty to change the Home/End keys from standard mode to rxvt mode, and that seems to fix the Home key, but not the End key (which now sends ^[Ow).

Guess it's time to file a bug report somewhere...



These bindings simply don't appear to be part of the default bindings set in emacs mode.. executing "where-is beginning-of-line" on my default zsh installation after running "bindkey -e" shows it is only bound to ^a.

Perhaps you should ask the zsh developers why :-).


the appropriate answer that should be portable across all distros (not necessarly all versions of zsh though, ymmv here) is to use the zkbd helper utility from zkbd..
Keyboard Definition
The large number of possible combinations of keyboards, workstations, terminals, emulators, and window systems makes it impossible for zsh to have built-in key bindings for every situation.

The zkbd utility, found in Functions/Misc, can help you quickly create key bindings for your configuration.. Run zkbd either as an autoloaded function, or as a shell script: .
zsh -f ~/zsh-4.3.17/Functions/Misc/zkbd 
When you run zkbd, it first asks you to enter your terminal type; if the default it offers is correct, just press return.

It then asks you to press a number of different keys to determine characteristics of your keyboard and terminal; zkbd warns you if it finds anything out of the ordinary, such as a Delete key that sends neither ^H nor ^?.. The keystrokes read by zkbd are recorded as a definition for an associative array named key, written to a file in the subdirectory .zkbd within either your HOME or ZDOTDIR directory.

The name of the file is composed from the TERM, VENDOR and OSTYPE parameters, joined by hyphens.. You may read this file into your .zshrc or another startup file with the source' or.' commands, then reference the key parameter in bindkey commands, like this:.
          source ${ZDOTDIR:-$HOME}/.zkbd/$TERM-$VENDOR-$OSTYPE           [[ -n ${key[Left]} ]] && bindkey "${key[Left]}" backward-char           [[ -n ${key[Right]} ]] && bindkey "${key[Right]}" forward-char           # etc. 

Note that in order for `autoload zkbd' to work, the zkdb file must be in one of the directories named in your fpath array (see zshparam(1)).

This should already be the case if you have a standard zsh installation; if it is not, copy Functions/Misc/zkbd to an appropriate directory..
see man -P "less -p 'keyboard definition'" zshcontrib, or search the meta-manpage zshall.

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