Well, the thing I'm tired of clearing my terminal history again and again. So I was wondering if there's a way that the terminal doesn't record your history or the commands you've used.

If not, is there any way to do that?

I'm using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Note: I use this command to clear terminal history:

cat /dev/null > ~/.bash_history && history -c && exit
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    What do you mean by clearing my terminal history? Why don't you want to have a history? Jul 3, 2015 at 11:43
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    @ArkadiuszDrabczyk In our office our account get audited, I sometime install tweaks and run some other commands which may be considered as unofficial, sometimes I forget to clear history. In this scenario, I need if there's alternative for it.
    – Kunal
    Jul 3, 2015 at 11:50

3 Answers 3


Single commands can be omitted from history (and up/down recall) by prepending with a space:

$ echo "foo"  # saved
$  echo "bar" # <-- not saved

Otherwise, you can turn off history by adding to ~/.bashrc:

set +o history

(to reenable, use set -o history)

If you want to disable it for the current session only:

$ unset HISTFILE
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    There's also some information here: commandlinefu.com/commands/view/7041/… This is an extension to @bertieb 's post above ('$ unset HISTFILE'). They are current session only changes.
    – James
    Jul 3, 2015 at 11:52
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    Single commands can be omitted from history (and up/down recall) by prepending with a space - only if $HISTCONTROL contains ignorespace Jul 3, 2015 at 11:55
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    @ArkadiuszDrabczyk or $HISTCONTROL contains ignoreboth, which 14.04 has set by default :)
    – bertieb
    Jul 3, 2015 at 11:57

Although this has been answered, I think this is also worth noting - if you wanted to, you could remove your .bash_history file, and add a symlink with the same name pointing to /dev/null. That would produce the same results - in fact, this solution is shell-agnostic (as long as you target the correct history file.

All you need is this:

ln -s /dev/null ~/.bash_history

Just don't do something like this and you'll be fine.

  • Oh my, that askubuntu question is so awkward, it hurts. (Upvoted your answer because using a symlink is a different approach that doesn't require one to edit login profile files.)
    – basic6
    Jul 9, 2015 at 10:59

It depends from the shell you are using. From the command you give it seems you are working with a bash shell. In this case you can both use




With the first one (HISTSIZE=) you put to zero the size of the history for the current shell. This means that after this command you will have no answer from history or pushing UP, CTRL+R... You can use HISTSIZE=0; exit to exit from the shell and clean the history of the current shell.

With the second one (HISTFILE=), a little shorter than all his variants (HISTFILE=/dev/null, unset HISTFILE... ), you will continue to have the history available in the current shell but it will not recordered when you will exit.

The built-in help history propose even

-c clear the history list by deleting all of the entries

In case you are using a zsh shell you can see this answer and the solution proposed.

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