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Viewing Session History in the zsh Shell

The Z-shell also lets you easily reuse commands from your session history, which is the list of commands you've used during a session or in previous sessions (Code Listing 3.11). The history functions are handy for reviewing your Unix session, reusing previous commands (instead of retyping), and modifying (rather than completely redoing) long or complex commands.

Code Listing 3.11. In this example, we typed the first command, and then pressed the to reuse the previous command. !40 recycled the 40th command from the listing.

[ejr@hobbes clean]$ ls
background.htm  info.htm      logo.gif
[ejr@hobbes clean]$ ls
background.htm  info.htm      logo.gif
[ejr@hobbes clean]$ history
     1  free
     2  id deb
     3  id ejr
     4  uname -a
     5  ls

...

    40  cd
    41  cp .bash_history oldhistory
    42  vi .bash_history
    43  elm
    44  ls -la
    45  ls -la .e*
    46  elm
    47  lynx
    48  history
    49  vi .bash*his*
    50  history
    51  cd clean
    52  ls
    53  ls
    54  history
[ejr@hobbes clean]$ !40
cd
[ejr@hobbes ejr]$

To view session history in the zsh Shell:

  1. Use zsh as you usually would, changing directories, redirecting output, or doing other tasks. For example, review the previous chapter and practice the commands you've learned so far.
  2. Press uparrow.jpg one time.

    Note that the last (previous) command you used appears on the command line, as shown in Code Listing 3.11. To reissue the command, just press enter.jpg.

  3. Continue to press uparrow.jpg or downarrow.jpg to scroll back or forward through your history. When you reach a command you want to use, press enter.jpg.

    If you see a command that's close, but not exactly what you want to use, you can edit it. Just use leftarrow.jpg and rightarrow.jpg to move across the line. Then, insert text by typing it in or using backspace.jpg or delete.jpg to delete text. When you've modified the command, press enter.jpg (you don't have to be at the end of the line to do so).

  4. Type history at the shell prompt to see a numbered list of previous commands you've entered.
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