[nmglug] tips on becoming a power user?

Casey Dentinger dentinger at regnitned.net
Thu Jan 17 18:59:27 PST 2019

Some years back I realized what a huge number of computer problems I encounter that I have solved before but can't remember what I did.  Probably most of them.  No catch-all solution for this, but liberal use of VCS helps, and etckeeper (from the great Joey Hess).  Another thing I always do now, but seldom see others do, is add this to bashrc:

export PROMPT_COMMAND="history 1 >> ~/.full_history"

This will keep your bash history forever.  Normally ~/.bash_history is rotated pretty frequently, I guess for obsolete disk space reasons (several years of heavy use is a couple MB), or maybe security if you tend to enter passwords as arguments or something (and you don't trust the administrator), please correct me if you know a better reason, but I have found the benefits of grepping this file to outweigh any of that.  It does not replace .bash_history but complements it, as it would break ^p (the up arrow) in a multi-login (tmux) type situation.  It also allows immediate access to the history of other shells which is normally not written until logout (probably so as to not break ^p).

Or I might tell a new user to use a shell that doesn't suck!  But I've tried to leave bash many times and never got far.  In fact I almost exclusively write bash these days and only acquiesce to another language when it gets unbearable.  Probably the best advice I could give about software: use what everyone else uses (as long as it is FLOSS).

On Thu, Jan 17, 2019, at 5:55 PM, Akkana Peck wrote:
> Mark Galassi writes:
> > 
> > GNU/Linux hackers: I'm teaching a segment on becoming a Unix/GNULinux
> > power user. any tips form expert hackers on what's important? As an
> > example from Christopher Gabriel:
> > 
> > "'automate as much as possible' and 'track everything with version
> > control' are good generic tips"
> My first suggestion: be familiar with shell pipelines, particularly
> piping commands through grep and sed.
>         ...Akkana
> _______________________________________________
> nmglug mailing list
> nmglug at lists.nmglug.org
> http://lists.nmglug.org/listinfo.cgi/nmglug-nmglug.org

More information about the nmglug mailing list