bash and zsh shell history suggest box - easily view, navigate, search and manage your command history.

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Get most of HSTR by configuring it with:

# bash
hstr --show-bash-configuration >> ~/.bashrc

# zsh
hstr --show-zsh-configuration >> ~/.zshrc

Run hstr --show-configuration to determine what will be appended to your bash / zsh profile. Don’t forget to source ~/.bashrc / source ~/.zshrc to apply changes.

For more configuration options details please refer to:

Don’t miss the HSTR config examples.

Bash Binding HSTR to Keyboard Shortcut

Bash uses Emacs style keyboard shortcuts by default. There is also Vi mode. Find out how to bind HSTR to a keyboard shortcut based on the style you prefer below.

Check your active bash keymap with:

bind -v | grep editing-mode
bind -v | grep keymap

To determine character sequence emitted by a pressed key in terminal, type Ctrl-v and then press the key. Check your current bindings using:

bind -S

Bash Emacs Keymap (default)

Bind HSTR to a bash key e.g. to Ctrl-r:

bind '"\C-r": "\C-a hstr -- \C-j"'

or Ctrl-Alt-r:

bind '"\e\C-r":"\C-a hstr -- \C-j"'

or Ctrl-F12:

bind '"\e[24;5~":"\C-a hstr -- \C-j"'

Bind HSTR to Ctrl-r only if it is interactive shell:

if [[ $- =~ .*i.* ]]; then bind '"\C-r": "\C-a hstr -- \C-j"'; fi

You can bind also other HSTR commands like --kill-last-command:

if [[ $- =~ .*i.* ]]; then bind '"\C-xk": "\C-a hstr -k \C-j"'; fi

Bash Vim Keymap

Bind HSTR to a bash key e.g. to Ctrl-r:

bind '"\C-r": "\e^ihstr -- \n"'

Zsh Emacs Keymap

Bind HSTR to a zsh key e.g. to Ctrl-r:

bindkey -s "\C-r" "\C-a hstr -- \C-j"


If you want to make running of hstr from command line even easier, then define alias in your ~/.bashrc:

alias hh=hstr

Don’t forget to source ~/.bashrc to be able to to use hh command.

Environment variables

HSTR Config Options

HSTR reads the environment variable HSTR_CONFIG for a comma-separated list of options.


Let HSTR to use colors:

export HSTR_CONFIG=hicolor

or ensure black and white mode:

export HSTR_CONFIG=monochromatic


To show the prompt at the bottom of the screen (instead at the top) use:

export HSTR_CONFIG=prompt-bottom

To show the basic help and history help labels on the opposite site (instead of next to the prompt) use:

export HSTR_CONFIG=help-on-opposite-side

To hide the basic help label:

export HSTR_CONFIG=hide-basic-help

To hide both the basic help and history help labels:

export HSTR_CONFIG=hide-help

Default History View

To show normal history by default (instead of metrics-based view, which is default) use:

export HSTR_CONFIG=raw-history-view

To show favorite commands as default view use:

export HSTR_CONFIG=favorites-view


To use regular expressions based matching:

export HSTR_CONFIG=regexp-matching

To use substring based matching:

export HSTR_CONFIG=substring-matching

To use keywords (substrings whose order doesn’t matter) search matching (default):

export HSTR_CONFIG=keywords-matching

Make search case sensitive (insensitive by default):

export HSTR_CONFIG=case-sensitive

Keep duplicates in raw-history-view (duplicate commands are discarded by default):

export HSTR_CONFIG=duplicates

Static favorites

Last selected favorite command is put the head of favorite commands list by default. If you want to disable this behavior and make favorite commands list static, then use the following configuration:

export HSTR_CONFIG=static-favorites

Skip favorites comments

If you don’t want to show lines starting with # (comments) among favorites, then use the following configuration:

export HSTR_CONFIG=skip-favorites-comments


Skip commands when processing ranking view history. Use of blacklist file is disabled by default - you can enable it by adding blacklist to HSTR_CONFIG environment variable:

export HSTR_CONFIG=blacklist

Commands to be stored in ~/.hstr_blacklist file with trailing empty line. For instance:


Confirm on Delete

Do not prompt for confirmation when deleting history items:

export HSTR_CONFIG=no-confirm


Show a message when deleting the last command from history:

export HSTR_CONFIG=verbose-kill

Show warnings:

export HSTR_CONFIG=warning

Show debug messages:

export HSTR_CONFIG=debug


More colors with case sensitive search of history:

export HSTR_CONFIG=hicolor,case-sensitive

Favorite commands view in black and white with prompt at the bottom of the screen:

export HSTR_CONFIG=favorites-view,prompt-bottom

Keywords based search in colors with debug mode verbosity:

export HSTR_CONFIG=keywords-matching,hicolor,debug

Bash History Settings

Use the following bash settings to get most out of HSTR.

Increase the size of history maintained by bash - variables defined below increase the number of history items and history file size (default value is 500):

export HISTFILESIZE=10000

Ensure syncing (flushing and reloading) of .bash_history with in-memory history:

export PROMPT_COMMAND="history -a; history -n; ${PROMPT_COMMAND}"

Force appending of in-memory history to .bash_history (instead of overwriting):

shopt -s histappend

Use leading space to hide commands from history:

export HISTCONTROL=ignorespace

Suitable for a sensitive information like passwords.

Zsh History Settings

If you use zsh, set HISTFILE environment variable in ~/.zshrc:

export HISTFILE=~/.zsh_history

Please check your system configuration - history might be store in ~/.zsh_history, ~/.zhistory or other file.