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It’s sometimes useful when using the linux command line to prevent things to go into the bash history; for example if you’re using curl to download a file while providing your username password.

This can be easily done in linux by configuring the HISTCONTROL variable in either your ~/.bashrc (which I recommend in order to have it permanently in your bash sessions) or by just changing the value for your current session.

Either way either set the variable as follows on your ~/.bashrc or on your current session


If you took the ~/.bashrc approach don’t forget to source it to have i

Once this is done commands that you start with a white space will be ignored :

[[email protected]] curl -o strx25.tar.bz2 --user user:password

note the whitespace before the curl command

Removing a specific line from history

Now if you have to remove a specific line from history this is done in 2 steps

Display commands in history :

[[email protected]]history
832 docker images
833 docker rmi 0d22948b5794
834 docker images
835 docker rmi 1a31905bb4e4
836 docker build -t dse/docker .
837 docker images
838 docker rmi 47a8395f9714
839 docker build -t dse/docker .
840 docker images
841 docker rmi fe7a4702bf61
842 docker ps
843 docker ps -a
844 docker rm e3f7c83390ee
845 docker rmi fe7a4702bf61
846 docker build -t dse/docker .
847 docker images
848 docker rmi a386794cb70c

Once you identified the culprit; delete it with the following command (for example here the line 845):

history -d 845