Random Access Command Line History

This afternoon I found out that I knew something I didn’t know I knew (say what?).

I was spending a lot of time opening and closing SSH sessions and some of those were connecting to an IP address that I couldn’t remember. To assist my memory, I was grep’ing my history and then copying and pasting what I needed. At some point in the course of doing that, I had this memory of a way to re-issue a particular command from the history:

me@mine [~] $ history | grep ssh
   13  ssh rob@rob
  297  ssh rob@rwilkerson
  298  ssh rob@rwilkerson1
  299  ssh rob@rwilkerson
  301  ssh rob@rwilkerson-old
  303  ssh rob@
  432  ssh rob@
  434  ssh rob@
  465  history | grep ssh
  466  ssh rob@
  467  history | grep ssh
  468  ssh rob@
  501  history | grep ssh
me@mine [~] $ !468
ssh rob@
rob@'s password:

The first command displays the entire history buffer and pipes it through a grep for the ssh command. The second executes the 468th command in the history buffer, in this case ssh rob@, without having to retype it or even paste it. Now that I remember that I know how to do this, I suspect it’ll play a larger role in my terminal operations.

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