16.5. Finding Commands Quickly
I was looking at a man page yesterday, but I cannot
remember the name of the command I was reading about, and I did not
write it down. How do I get the man page back?
The command you used will most likely be stored in a file called
.bash_history. By default, this file records the
last 500 commands you typed at the shell prompt.
You can glimpse the history of your commands by typing
history at the shell prompt, but the results will
speed by too quickly for your to read ever line.
Another way to view .bash_history is with a
utility such as less. Type less
.bash_history at the shell prompt and the results will
display one page at a time. To move forward a screen, press the
[Space] bar; to move back a screen, press the
[b] key, and to quit, press [q].
Paging through .bash_history to find a command
can be tedious. Alternatively, you can search through the file for
keywords using grep, a powerful search utility.
Say you were reading the man page the day before, but cannot
recall its name. To search for the command, type:
You will see a list of all the commands you typed which have the
word man in them.
There are plenty of ways to your command history. For other tips and
tricks, see Section 16.6 Tips on Using Command History.