Ubuntu – How to avoid duplicate entries in .bash_history


The same command is listed in my history again and again. How can I avoid this? I know it's possible via HISTCONTROL but I haven't found the right way.

Best Answer

From the bash man page:


A colon-separated list of values controlling how commands are saved on the history list. If the list of values includes ignorespace, lines which begin with a space character are not saved in the history list. A value of ignoredups causes lines matching the previous history entry to not be saved. A value of ignoreboth is shorthand for ignorespace and ignoredups. A value of erasedups causes all previous lines matching the current line to be removed from the history list before that line is saved. Any value not in the above list is ignored. If HISTCONTROL is unset, or does not include a valid value, all lines read by the shell parser are saved on the history list, subject to the value of HISTIGNORE. The second and subsequent lines of a multi-line compound command are not tested, and are added to the history regardless of the value of HISTCONTROL.

So put the following line in your ~/.bashrc:

export HISTCONTROL=ignoreboth:erasedups