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Easily find an old command you run

Terminal - Easily find an old command you run
cat .bash_history | tail -100 | grep {command}
2013-04-10 10:40:52
User: techie
Functions: cat grep tail
Easily find an old command you run

I know how hard it is to find an old command running through all the files because you couldn't remember for your life what it was. Heres the solution!! Grep the history for it. depending on how old the command you can head or tail or if you wanted to search all because you cannot think how long ago it was then miss out the middle part of the command. This is a very easy and effective way to find that command you are looking for.


There are 12 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
history | tail -100 | grep cmd
2013-04-22 03:49:43
User: datamining
Functions: grep tail

this also can find the old command you used before

cat $HISTFILE | grep command

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

You might as well let the history command do the work (in bash at least).

history 100 | grep {something}

will search the last 100 commands (and it's less to type :-)

Using 'history' will also give you the history number, so you need only type


to repeat a command.

Comment by flatcap 137 weeks and 6 days ago

The easiest way to search backwards in the bash history is by pressing ctrl + "r" then just type what you'd like to grep. Keep pressing ctrl + "r" to search backwards.

Comment by harpo 137 weeks and 6 days ago

Alternatively you can also search through your history using


While will interactively allow you to search your history. It supports fuzzy searching so you can search for any token and you can edit the command before executing.

Comment by lotia 137 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

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