Per-machine Bash History

I do work on a lot of machines no matter what environment I’m working in, and a lot of the time each machine has a specific purpose. One thing that really annoys me when I work in an environment with NFS-mounted home directories is that if I log into a machine I haven’t used in some time, none of the history specific to that machine is around anymore.

If I had a separate ~/.bash_history file on each machine, this would likely solve the problem. It’s pretty simple to do as it turns out. Just add the following lines to ~/.bashrc:

srvr=`hostname`
export HISTFILE="/home/jonesy/.bash_history_${srvr}"

Don’t be alarmed when you source ~/.bashrc and you don’t see the file appear in your home directory. Unless you’ve configured things otherwise, history is only written at the end of a bash session. So go ahead and source bashrc, run a few commands, end your session, log back in, and the file should be there.

I’m not actually sure if this is going to be a great idea for everyone. If you work in an environment where you run the same commands from machine to machine, it might be better to just leave things alone. For me, I’m running different psql/mysql connection commands and stuff like that which differ depending on the machine I’m on and the connection perms it has.