Why do people fear writing passwords in the command line?
The history file is located in
~/.history, so it's available only to the user who executed the commands (and root).
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Command lines are not just available in history. They are also available, for example, in the output of
ps -ocmd or through the
/proc filesystem. (
/proc/<pid>/cmdline) which is where
ps reads them.
Also, users' home directories are often world- or group- readable; you can make the history file only user-readable, but that might not survive deletion and recreation.
Passwords on the command line are just a bad idea all the way around. In addition to the methods discussed in the other answers:
User commands can show up in these locations as well:
In addition user's commands can also show up when users login between systems, so in general it's a bad practice and should be avoided at all times.