I used to be able to use up and down arrow to find my history, including failed commands that did return a different retval, correct them and try again. After I installed fzf something changed, and now I only have successful commands in my history which return a value, everything else simply isn't there.

I suspect I've either changed something in one of my script configs, or fzf changed something:

  • .bashrc
  • .fzf.bash
  • .profile
  • .bash_profile

Unfortunately this is extremely annoying and I've no idea how to fix it. For example, typing:

which python
sudo apt-cache

produces in .bash_history:

which python

but not the sudo apt-cache command.

Running the following command:

 grep HIST ~/.bashrc ~/.profile ~/.bash_profile ~/bash.login ~/.bash_aliases /etc/bash.bashrc /etc/profile /etc/profile.d/* /etc/environment .fzf.bash 2>/dev/null


/home/tons/.bashrc:export HISTTIMEFORMAT="%h %d %H:%M:%S "
/home/tons/.bashrc:export HISTSIZE=10000
/home/tons/.bashrc:export HISTFILESIZE=10000
/home/tons/.bashrc:export HISTCONTROL=ignorespace:erasedups
/home/tons/.bashrc:export HISTIGNORE="ls:ps:history"
/home/tons/.bashrc:export HISTIGNORE="s*"
  • 1
    Please post the output of grep HIST ~/.bashrc ~/.profile ~/.bash_profile ~/bash.login ~/.bash_aliases /etc/bash.bashrc /etc/profile /etc/profile.d/* /etc/environment .fzf.bash 2>/dev/null so we can see your history settings.
    – terdon
    Oct 5, 2020 at 17:26
  • @terdon thanks for the help, much appreciated! I suspect it's HISTIGNORE that changed something?
    – Alex
    Oct 6, 2020 at 9:44
  • HISTIGNORE="s*" should explain missing sudo. But not commands starting with something other than an s.
    – ilkkachu
    Oct 6, 2020 at 9:57

1 Answer 1


The HISTIGNORE variable is a way of telling bash's history system to ignore certain commands. Here, you are setting that to:

export HISTIGNORE="s*"

Note that this will overwrite the earlier HISTIGNORE="ls:ps:history". More importantly, this s* tells bash not to store any commands starting with s in the history, which nicely explains why your sudo apt-cache isn't stored: sudo starts with an s.

  • That explains a lot, I don't even know how that ended up in there (most likely a copy-paste from shellhacks.com/tune-command-line-history-bash). EDIT: yes I'm an idiot I blindly copied the lines from the above blogpost!
    – Alex
    Oct 6, 2020 at 10:17

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