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  • How to prevent a command from getting stored in history in Linux

    Q: Is it possible to avoid commands getting stored in history in Linux?

    A: Yes, you can do so in bash shell using the below method

    In bash there is a variable HISTCONTROL which can be used to achieve our task. By default it contains a value of "ignoredups" as per which history command avoids keeping duplicate command records.

    Let us change it to something else
    # export HISTCONTROL=ignorespace
    Let us verify if the value is changed
    # echo $HISTCONTROL

    Now as per this any command you run starting with a space will not be monitored or stored in history or and file defined under HISTFILE which by default is ~/.bash_history.

    Let us try to run some commands with a space

    Output of history before running command
    # history | tail -5
    412 echo $HISTCONTROL
    413 cd /etc/httpd/conf
    414 vi httpd.conf
    415 /etc/init.d/httpd status
    416 history | tail -5

    Run any command starting with an extra space

    #   date
    Verify your results
    # history | tail -5
    413 cd /etc/httpd/conf
    414 vi httpd.conf
    415 /etc/init.d/httpd status
    416 history | tail -5
    417 history | tail -5

    So as you see the date command executed is not stored.

    Making the changes permanent
    Now the variable change made is temporary and terminal based which means next time you login the HISTCONTROL variable will return to its default value.

    To make it permanent follow the below link
    How to set environment (PATH) variable permanently in Linux

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    Deepak Prasad

    Deepak Prasad is a techie and an author who is still trying to survive in this IT generation with very little knowledge he has on Linux/Unix, VMware, SAN Storage, Automation, networking etc

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    How to prevent a command from getting stored in history in Linux How to prevent a command from getting stored in history in Linux Reviewed by Deepak Prasad on Friday, September 26, 2014 Rating: 5

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