Linux and UNIX view command-line history

Posted on in Categories , last updated March 18, 2008

Q. How do I view command line history? I am using Cent OS Linux system.

A. BASH is the default shell for Linux computers. Bash has history command. It display the history list with line numbers i.e. it lists everything you have entered on the command line. You can recall commands from history so that you can save the time.

Task: View your command Line History

Type the following command:

$ history
Output:

911  man  7 signal
912  man ps
913  man  7 signal
914  man killall
915  killall -l
916  man killall
917  su -
918  su - lighttpd
919  su - lighttpd
920  cd /tmp/
921  ncftpget -u [email protected]' lan.server.gite.in

So whenever you type a command, that command is saved is a file called .bash_history. Type following commands to get more info:
$ help history
$ man bash (look for Event Designators for more info).

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

25 comment

  1. How we can increase the size of History in Unix/Linux
    Currently mine history command showing only 500 entries i want it to show atleast 2000 entries.

    Thanks in advance

  2. Set HISTSIZE variable by editing ~/.bash_profile or other shell startup file.

    HISTSIZE defines the number of commands to remember in the command history. The default value is 500. Set it to 2000
    export HISTSIZE=2000

  3. Hi all! any one can help me i want to see the all commands which is given by any user to my machine. if some one rm some file or other how can i see that which command was run on that machine. urgent plzzzz

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