10

How can I remove the last 5 lines in bash history? So that when I reload the Ubuntu server, or restart it they're not there at all?

history -c only removes it from current session, but when I re-login I see the commands again, I want to clear the last 5.

I've run:

history

Then i'll see the numbers of the commands e.g:

  489  cd ..
  490  cd .zshrc
  491  cat .zshrc

Then I run for example:

history -d 489
history -c 

Then i close terminal and reopen it and i still see line 489 it was only deleted for that current session, how do I delete it permentantly from all sessions going forward?

Please advise.

  • Is the history file not just a simple .txt file that can be edited?. Sorry in Windows right now and never actually tried. – EODCraft Staff Apr 10 '17 at 22:11
7

There are different ways to accomplish this task, but lets clarify something before going further.

There is a file named: ~/.bash_history, which contains your older terminal sessions history, whenever you close your terminal, your history will be saved there.

At the same time the history of your old sessions along with current session is temporary accessible by history commands until you close the terminal which then will be saved into ~/.bash_history file.

So if you remove 5 lines at the end of ~/.bash_history, then closing terminal will cause your current command to be accessible at next sessions.

So if I do a wc on .bash_history:

wc -l ~/.bash_history

Most of the time I'll get a smaller number than of history | wc -l.

If you want to remove the last 5 line of the file, you can use this command:

for i in {1..5}; do sed -i '$d' .bash_history; done;

And if you want to keep all history except last 5 command issued in current session run:

history | awk '{ print $2 }' | head -n -5 > .bash_history

Don't forget to run history -c too.

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  • Will that remove only the last 5 commands in bash? And permanently? e.g. so when I shut down terminal and re-login to ssh the last 5 won't be there? – Anthony Pinto Apr 10 '17 at 22:15
  • ps. tried it locally first and got "head: illegal line count -- -5" – Anthony Pinto Apr 10 '17 at 22:15
  • What seems to kind of work is when I run history -wd 493 for example, and it works to delete it for good, however, then in history I have a bunch of history -wd's etc... so it's counterintuitive, how can i clear e.g. the last 5 commands all in one shot that would be best, and then the actual command i used to clear them itself – Anthony Pinto Apr 10 '17 at 22:20
  • Test the new code. works fine for me. – Ravexina Apr 10 '17 at 22:25
  • Says, "head: illegal line count -- -5" still. :( – Anthony Pinto Apr 10 '17 at 22:26
10

You can achieve removal from the history file using the commandline in two steps:

Typing history -d <line_number> deletes a specified line from the history in memory. Typing history -w writes the current in-memory history to the ~/.bash_history file. The two steps together remove the line permanently from the in-memory history and from the .bash_history file as well.

Ref: StackExchange

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  • This is a lot closer, so I run history -wd 493 for example, and it works to delete it for good, however, then in history I have a bunch of history -wd's etc... so it's counterintuitive, how can i clear e.g. the last 5 commands all in one shot that would be best, and then the actual command i used to clear them itself. – Anthony Pinto Apr 10 '17 at 22:18
  • Is there not a history man page? Sry I'm in Windows.... – EODCraft Staff Apr 10 '17 at 22:20
  • 1
    @EODCraftStaff Type man and the name of the command manual you want to see. In this case: man history. – L. D. James Apr 10 '17 at 22:26
  • Use a space before your history delete command and it wont go to your history after it removes content from the history. Alternately, kill -s 9 $$ when you're done. – Stephen Apr 11 '17 at 0:13
7

I think you need to try this its very easy & simple.

  1. How to delete history without any trace

    history -d $((HISTCMD-1)) && history -d NO_of_History_you_want_to_delete
    
  2. if you want to excute a command without leaving any trace.

    history -d $((HISTCMD-1)) && type_your_command_here_and_execute
    
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  • (2.) doesn't answer the question and it would be far easier to prepend the traceless command with a space character to omit its addition to the history. – David Foerster Nov 20 '17 at 8:50
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    (1.) is both an excellent and elegant solution. I'm not sure how adding a space prevents it from being added to the history, David – theking2 Oct 14 '18 at 10:39
  • @theking2 For some systems pre-pending a space tells bash not to write the command to the history https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6475524. – chaptuck Jul 26 '19 at 15:39
0

Open ~/.bash_history in your editor, and remove last 5 lines.

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  • Not that great with VIM - can I run, history -wd 1, history -wd 2, history -wd 3, history -wd 4, history -wd 5, and then history -c ? Then next time i open all 5 will be gone plus the commands for that session to delete them? – Anthony Pinto Apr 10 '17 at 22:24
  • If you want to hide commands from history use the HISTIGNORE variable, e.g. in your .bashrc, HISTIGNORE='clear:history:ls:cd' – Nick Rodriguez Apr 10 '17 at 22:33
  • You can use gedit ~/.bash_history, don't have to use vim or nano. – EODCraft Staff Apr 10 '17 at 22:41
0

1. Write the current history to the history file, overwriting the history file's contents

history -w

2. edit history as you wish

vi ~/.bash_history

3. Read the contents of the history file and use them as the current history.

history -r

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