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8.6. Command History

Previously executed commands are stored in a history list. The C shell lets you access this list so you can verify commands, repeat them, or execute modified versions of them. The history built-in command displays the history list; the predefined variables histchars and history also affect the history mechanism. There are four ways to use the history list:

  • Rerun a previous command

  • Make command substitutions

  • Make argument substitutions (replace specific words in a command)

  • Extract or replace parts of a command or word

The following subsections describe the csh tools for editing and rerunning commands. If you are running tcsh, you can use any of these features. In addition, you can use the arrow keys to move around in the command line and then use the editing features described in Section 8.7.5, "Command-Line Editing with tcsh" to modify the command. The tcsh arrow keys are:

Key Description
Up arrow Previous command.
Down arrow Next command.
Left arrow Move left in command line.
Right arrow Move right in command line.


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