Protip: January

I found this one a little while back and figured I might as well share it out since not that many people I talk to seem to know about it. For the longest time if I wanted to search through all my old commands I would do something like this:

history | less

and just kind of wade my way through previously executed commands not very efficient. Once I started getting lazier and the list of items in my history cache grew I started to use this one:

history | grep -i "bleh"

This is a little better, but still a lot more searching and typing than I want. Finally, thanks to the helpful folks over at reddit, I stumbled across this hidden gem:

Ctrl + r "bleh"

So, just press Ctrl then R keys and then a piece of the command you are looking for, bleh in this example, then just hit tab to pull the command up you were looking for once you have enough of the string matched. This is a shortcut that executes the “reverse-i-search” command, and it is freakin awesome. So if there was a command you ran a really long time ago and can’t remember the syntax 100% but know the general idea you can use this to capture the pieces you do remember, saving yourself all that extra time of having to go back through trying to figure out what the hell you were doing.

Liked it? Support me on Patreon

Josh Reichardt

Josh is the creator of this blog, a system administrator and a contributor to other technology communities such as /r/sysadmin and Ops School. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.