Terminal command history search

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all41
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Terminal command history search

Post by all41 »

When using the terminal the up-arrow will scroll through previously entered commands stored in .bash_history.
That's an excellent way to find a recently used command for inspection or reuse, but to find a command
used a few weeks ago means tediously repeating up-arrow to locate it.

You can add a simple file that will allow an alphabetical search of previously used commands with their syntax and arguments.

example:
A couple months ago I used the terminal and entered:
xrander --listactivemonitors
Yesterday I connected a different monitor and wanted to repeat that command but
didn't remember the exact syntax of the command arguments.
With the terminal open I typed x, then arrow up--found it on the first tap! The xrander -listactivemonitors command was
entered and ready to use---so two keystrokes found a months old command.

If you can remember even the first letter of the command the up-arrow will find it more quickly.
Entering even more letters of the command narrows and speeds the search results even more.

example:
if you have previously used the cat command just type cat, then up-arrow will scroll through
the cat commands previously used.

This means less typing for lengthy commands--along with less fat-fingerered/pebkac/memory lapse errors.

And---it's easy

Just make a document named .inputrc and copy/paste the following:

Code: Select all

$include /etc/inputrc

# command history search
"\e[A": history-search-backward
"\e[B": history-search-forward
"\e[C": forward-char
"\e[D": backward-char

# extended auto-completion with tab
set show-all-if-ambiguous on
set completion-ignore-case on


# colors
set colored-completion-prefix on
set colored-stats on

# misc
set blink-matching-paren on
set mark-symlinked-directories = on
Put this document in your home directory so the path will be:
/home/username/.inputrc

Note that this document begins with a decimal point and will
become a hidden file. ctrl+h to show
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Termy
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Re: Terminal command history search

Post by Termy »

Simply typing in `cat` then browsing up in the history (Up or Ctrl + P) does not do what you think it does; for that, you can use Ctrl + R, and repeat as needed, for reverse history searching, which is amazingly useful. :) Unless you have some non-standard configuration unknown to me.

I believe this line of interest to ensure you have, is:

Code: Select all

"\e[A": history-search-backward
Which, IIRC, means to bind the Ctrl + R shortcut to that functionality.
Confused? Try this guide to the Linux Mint Support Forums!

I'm Terminalforlife (LL) on YouTube and terminalforlife on GitHub.
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paddys-hill
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Re: Terminal command history search

Post by paddys-hill »

A reasonable bash key cheatsheet is https://ss64.com/bash/syntax-keyboard.html
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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Terminal command history search

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

all41 wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:20 am
When using the terminal the up-arrow will scroll through previously entered commands stored in .bash_history.
alias hg='history|grep' works fine for me.
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rene
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Re: Terminal command history search

Post by rene »

Don't be so quick to say that; Ctrl-R and with or without editing of the found instance is extremely convenient.
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