Arrow and Command Keys Not working in Ubuntu 10.04 for non-root Account

For some time, I was having trouble getting the arrow keys to function correctly in my terminal sessions when logging into one of my remote Linode servers running Ubuntu 10.04. Whenever I pressed an arrow key, instead of moving the cursor or going up and down the command history, I would get a string of gibberish like [[A^[[B^[[D^[[C. Not very helpful!

So, after some searching, I found that the cause for this is an incorrect shell environment being set in the passwd file. To fix this problem, simply edit the /etc/passwd file and change the final string (after the last :) to /bin/bash (it is set to /bin/sh if you create a user via the command line/useradd):

$ sudo nano /etc/passwd

Change this:
<username>:x:1000:1000::/home/<username>/:/bin/sh

to this:
<username>:x:1000:1000::/home/<username>/:/bin/bash

...and then save the file, log out, and log back in. Problem solved!

Comments

Your solution worked for me. Thank you very much!

Thanks I was looking for exactly this solution. It's been bugging me for a while.
- Sean McCredie

Your solution worked for me too, Thanks

Thanks!! Did not know there was an solution for this problem

Just what I needed...so helpful!
Thanks.

Many thanks -- this worked for me. Cheers from Canada.