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I often find myself switching between Bash and Zsh, and using the history search functionality to recover a command.

However, since Bash and Zsh have different history files, I often find that the command I'm searching for has been executed in the other shell.

Is there any way to share or synchronize history between the two?

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The syntax of bash and zsh is different enough that you'd end up with many commands that don't work when copied to the other shell. –  Gilles Sep 19 '11 at 23:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you are using the defaults for bash and zsh:

$ cat ~/.histfile >> ~/.bash_history
$ youreditor ~/.zshrc
# Here change your config to:
$ rm ~/.histfile

Now you have the same file for history in both shells.

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Does this really work?? The two histfiles have completely different formats! –  Neil Traft Jul 12 '14 at 7:48
Yes, both shells use the same format. One command per line. –  J.F. Jul 13 '14 at 18:32
My .zsh_history has lines like : 1399608924:0;hg diff whereas my .bash_history has simply hg diff. Maybe it's because I'm using oh-my-zsh? –  Neil Traft Jul 14 '14 at 23:58
Maybe. Or some option of zsh. I don't know. –  J.F. Jul 16 '14 at 0:03

Not exactly what you were looking for, but in order to import from bash to zsh, you can use this node.js script.

   // This is how I used it:
   // $ node bash-history-to-zsh-history.js >> ~/.zsh_history

   var fs = require("fs");
   var a = fs.readFileSync(".bash_history");
   var time =;
     console.log(": "+ (time++) + ":0;"+line);


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