I am using bash shell on SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 sp1.

The bash history was disabled by somebody. That means I can't get the previous command by pressing the UP key. I want to enable the command history.

How can I do this?


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:

  • It works when i set following: HISTFILESIZE=500 HISTSIZE=500 thanks – Mingo Aug 12 '10 at 10:11

One thing you can do is to check if the environment variable "HISTFILE" is set. It should be set to the file you want to write your history to. The second thing to check, if the file is set, that your user has permissions to write that file. Those are the first two things that pop into my mind.

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