I’m not going to explain why because billions of people on this planet do not care. I’ll just write it like this: it bothers me when my bash shell history gets too “long”—tapping that up arrow key for tens of seconds grinds my gears. What is worse is the ever-so-slight dip in morale when I enter
history -c only to find that my history was not cleared—most of the time I seme-consciously realized this was happening to me I was mired in an emergency too desperate to investigate this issue.
These three commands solve the issue:
history -c && history -w && exit
What is better is to save the ‘messy’ history before clearing the buffer:
history -w ~/Desktop/history_bak.txt
What I am fond of doing is sorting
history_bak.txt and removing duplicates—like this:
sort history_bak.txt | uniq > history_bak_tmp.txt
Then I move
history_bak.txt. I can then cherry-pick the best lines and paste them into the terminal as needed.
I have this “weird” expectation that my history file will settle down into about a dozen commands used routinely. Any spike in command usage means something abnormal has happened—prompting the need to clear the bash history again.