March 15, 2019

Tutorial: Tap the Hidden Power of Your Bash Command History

Last month I wrote about combining a series of Unix commands using pipes. But there are times where you don’t even need pipes to turn a carefully-chosen series of commands into a powerful and convenient home-grown utility. ...

The echo command repeats whatever text is entered after it, for example. I’d just never found it particularly useful, since it always seemed to be more trouble than it’s worth. Sure, echo was handy for adding decorations to output.

echo "--------------------------" ; date ; echo "--------------------------"
Thu Feb 28 01:25:46 UTC 2019

But if you have to type in all those decorations in the first place, you’re not really saving any time.

What I’d really wanted (instead of echo) was a command to drop me back into that one deep-down subdirectory where I was doing most of my work. Something that was shorter than

cd ~/subdirectory/subdirectory/subdirectory/subdirectory/subdirectory

Yes, there’s a command that lets you change back to your last-used directory.


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