When I run history command (on tcsh), it only prints the TIME portion of the timestamp and omits the date:

 3  15:07   echo $PATH
 4  15:07   ls -la

In bash, you can use HISTTIMEFORMAT environmental variable to affect the timestamp forman printed by history command.

E.g. set HISTTIMEFORMAT="[%F %T %Z] "

Is there a way to do this in tcsh and if so, which version of tcsh is required? We have tcsh 6.17.00.

Environment: Red Har Linux 4.4, but I assume the answer shouldn't be affected since history is a shell built-in and not OS-supplied binary.

1 Answer 1


From the tcsh man page.


history The first word indicates the number of history events to save. The optional second word (+) indicates the format in which history is printed; if not given, %h\t%T\t%R\n is used. The format sequences are described below under prompt; note the variable meaning of %R. Set to 100 by default.


$ set history= ( 1000 "%h %W/%D/%Y %T %R\n" )

Results in:

$ history
     2 09/08/2014 22:48 set history= ( 1000 "%h %W/%D/%Y %T %R\n" )
     7 09/08/2014 22:49 ls
     9 09/08/2014 22:49 echo "hi"
    10 09/08/2014 22:49 history

This would result in the history being maintained for the last 1000 commands with the format of "%h %W/%D/%Y %T %R\n".

  • %h - history #
  • %W/%D/%Y - month/day/year
  • `%T - 24 hr. time
  • %R - command run

The full descriptions of these macros is defined in the tcsh man page, scroll down to the section where the prompt command is explained. They're there.

  • You have the month & day reversed; you really meant "%W/%D/%Y" for this format: 12/25/2014. :-) Nov 9, 2015 at 15:02
  • And thank you for the answer ... I was really wondering exactly when I had last run some command or other :-) Seriously. :-) Nov 9, 2015 at 17:16

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