command line history broken in 11.0

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Tue Mar 21 15:28:37 UTC 2017

On Tue, March 21, 2017 9:48 am, Trond Endrestøl wrote:
> On Tue, 21 Mar 2017 09:56-0400, Ernie Luzar wrote:

> Running a command like this one in csh has always had the desired
> effect:
> shutdown -r now Upgrade to base/stable/11 r315683. ; exit
> I usually just type in the first initial characters, like "shu", hit
> the up arrow key one or more times, edit the command if needed, read
> the entire command one more time, and hit the enter key.

During rather long sysadmin life I learn to never do anything like that. I
even can point to some examples when doing things differently screwed up
fellow sysadmin (luckily that was another guy in all cases):

1. You want to execute the command and _know_ that you executed right
command: _type_ the whole path to the command beginning from leading
slash, e.g.:


One day you will be in unusual environment, not doing so, e.g., just


may screw you up. This way smart students caught my older sysadmin mate:
they asked him to help them with something from their account, and one of
the super user commands he predictably executed was script with the same
name they placed in their PATH, that piped what they needed into actual
command. Bingo, they owned him.

2. Never use my own history, to execute same or similar command. You may
accidentally execute next that command in history (if keyboard/ screen is
slow...) Recipe for big screw up, hence bad habit.

3. Never edit different command from history. Similar recipe for screw up,
psychology is such that often it is "wishful reading" - you see what you
expect/want to see instead of similar yet different thing. Typing the
whole command with all options forces your brain work though it thus you
will be doing what you actually want to do.

I know this is digression from the thread, my apologies for that. But I'd
love to hear what others may add in the same lines of good sysadmin's


Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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