I am using ubuntu 13.04, in this the command history of the shell is getting erased on close.

Can someone tell me how to prevent this from happening?

  • 2
    i have solved the issue. the user i am logged into doesnot have the read/write permissions for .bash_history file so i changed the permissions and it worked. – Aditya Shanker Tagirisa Aug 3 '13 at 8:40
  • @Kartik i cannot answer my own question until 8 hours from the time i created the question that's why i added it in the comment – Aditya Shanker Tagirisa Aug 3 '13 at 10:55

At a Bash prompt, type the following commands and do the steps listed after each one:

set -o | grep history

If you get "history off" then add this line at the end of your ~/.bashrc:

set -o history

Next try:


If the first one is blank or /dev/null, add this line to the end of your ~/.bashrc:


If either of the last two print 0, set them to some number like the default of 500:


Do not forget to source .bashrc after saving ~/.bashrc

  • execute source .bashrc after saving ~/.bashrc – user427969 Aug 2 '19 at 2:59

Another possible problem I just encountered is that your .bash_history file might be owned by root:

$ ls -l $HISTFILE
-rw------- 1 root root 9558 Jun 21 21:56 /home/ubuntu/.bash_history

The solution is to chown it back to your user and group:

$ sudo chown ubuntu:ubuntu /home/ubuntu/.bash_history
$ ls -l $HISTFILE
-rw------- 1 ubuntu ubuntu 9558 Jun 21 21:56 /home/ubuntu/.bash_history

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