Pressing the up button is tedious and I might miss the command I was looking for. So when typing
history at the terminal gives me all the commands I have entered before, indexed to a number. Is there any way I could just call the number associated with the command?
The bash history can do many helpful things, and the search with
Strg-r that Terry Wang mentioned is an important one among them. But it is also possible to do exactly what you asked for.
You can re-do the previous command with
!!. With this, you can also edit the previous command. If for example you forgot to get root privileges for a command
apt-get install a-long-list-of-packages
you don't have to retype all of that again. Instead just call
If you want to re-execute the command at a specific position from your history, you can also use
!, for example
to re-execute the command at position 3. Be aware that this counts from the top. So if you're storing 500 commands in your history,
!1 would be "500 commands ago". You can also use negative numbers. For example
would re-execute the second last command.
You can also re-execute the last command that started with a string like
which would re-do the last line that started with "apt-". If you want the last command where the string appeared anywhere in the line, you can use something like
There are more interesting things the bash history can do. Just to give an impression of the wide range of possibilities, you can specifically access a parameter of a command from history. So
would print the third parameter to the fifth from last command.
EDIT: Regarding Rudie's comment below, with the standard settings this bash history expansions are indeed executed directly. It's probably best described like this: A call like
!-3 is replaced by the shell with the third last command from your history and then your input (with the replacement) executed. So if you type
!-3 and press
ENTER and your third last command was
ls ~, it's in effect the same as if you typed
ls ~ again and pressed
ENTER "on your own".
If you don't want that, you can set the shell option
histverify. For setting and unsetting shell options, you might want to read up on the
shopt command. With
histverify set, a call like
!-3 only writes the replacement from your history to your command line, but doesn't execute it directly. You have, so to speek, press the crucial
ENTER yourself - or refrain from it, if you choose to.
Yes, there is. If, for example, you want to execute the command that has number 1234 next to it, do:
Other useful stuff:
If you want to run the last command you ran, do:
If you want to run the last
lscommand you ran, do:
If you just ran
ls /some/long/path, and you want to
cdto it, do:
For more information:
Using the key combination Ctrl+R, you will be able to use keywords to search your Bash history.
A quick bash key binding reference can be found here: http://ss64.com/bash/syntax-keyboard.html
If you've found the history number of a command and you want to execute it again, type
! followed by the number, e.g.
!1234 and press Enter. This is part of history expansion; you can tack modifiers onto it.
If you want to edit the command before running it,
fc 1234 invokes an external editor.
But as Terry Wang already mentioned there are usually faster ways of locating a command in the history than determining its history number, including Ctrl+R to invoke incremental search (press Enter when you've found the command you want to execute), or
fc PREFIX to execute the previous command beginning with