Control + R in Bash = Life Changed

I’m probably late to the party on this one.

I was working with someone the other day on a problem over a video call and sharing my screen on a Linux box.

They watched as I did what I do often and Grep’ed through my command history to find a command I’d run before but couldn’t remember the specifics of off the top of my head.

Something like this:

How I’ve always found commands from my history

Then the person I was working with told me to try pressing Control + R and typing the start of what I was looking for.

My head exploded.

Searching through Bash command history

From here you can search through your command history and scroll between matching entries,

I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to learn!

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3 thoughts on “Control + R in Bash = Life Changed

  1. Nice to know! I always modify /etc/inputrc and uncomment the bindings for PgUp/PgDown keys to search through the history, based on what is on the command line and where the cursor is. E.g. If I out “apt in” and press PgUp it will cycle through all the apt install commands I’ve previously entered.

  2. Wow,! I have been using Linux since kernel version 0.98 and had no clue about ctl+r. Always something new to learn. thank you Nick, keep up the amazing work.

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