Bash shell trick: searching interactively through command history

December 9, 2013

Although the up/down arrow are nice to move through commands in a Bash shell, searching takes the command history to a whole new level.

To start a search within Bash, enter Control-R, the prompt will then change to look as follows:

(reverse-i-search)`':

As you type, matches will be shown, with the cursor directly on the character where the match occurs.

- Hit enter to run the command as is
- Hit Command-R to find more matches
- Type (or delete) characters to refine search
- Type left or right arrow key to edit command (before running)

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