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All, When I in the emacs shell (run by M-x shell) and press M-r, it only search a very limited command history and doesn't search the bash_history file. But it is said Emacs shell will read my bash's history file to initialize it's history (https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Shell-Ring.html). How can I make M-r in shell to search the bash_history?

  • When you start the shell, its history file is imported into comint-input-ring which is limited by C-h v comint-input-ring-size. If that value is smaller than the number of lines in your history file, then you can try setting a higher value (and then starting a new shell) to see if you get better results. – phils Jun 27 at 7:09
  • @phils, thanks. But it seems doesn't load all bash_history. I've set comint-input-ring-size to 5000, and my bash_history is 2000. But the input history in the shell is 1199. However, it is larger than the previous 500 size. I'll report more what I find later. – zwy Jul 4 at 10:37
  • Not sure if it fits your use case, but I've found that multi-term behaves much more reasonably than shell, plus you can have multiple terminals open. – Silfheed Jul 30 at 22:02
  • @Silfheed thanks. But I prefer "M-x shell" for it behaves more like an emacs buffer. I've tried ansi-term before and turn back to "M-x shell" now. – zwy Jul 31 at 4:40
  • @zwy fwiw, while multi-term is based on term.el (and therefore ansi-term), it is significantly different for the better in regards to behaving like any other emacs buffer. I've used shell, eshell and ansi-term but never managed to move to regularly using a terminal in emacs until I started using multi-term. – Silfheed Jul 31 at 22:41
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I find a solution from here: http://wikemacs.org/wiki/Shell#Usage

By default a shell session inside emacs via shell-mode won't persist accross sessions and won't read your shell's history.

(add-hook 'shell-mode-hook 'my-shell-mode-hook)
(defun my-shell-mode-hook ()
(setq comint-input-ring-file-name "~/.zsh_history")  ;; or bash_history
(comint-read-input-ring t))

If you want to support remote file, here it is:

(defun my-shell-mode-hook ()
  (setq comint-input-ring-file-name
    (if (file-remote-p default-directory)
        (with-parsed-tramp-file-name default-directory nil
          (tramp-make-tramp-file-name
           (tramp-file-name-method v)
           (tramp-file-name-user v)
           (tramp-file-name-domain v)
           (tramp-file-name-host v)
           (tramp-file-name-port v)
           "~/.zsh_history"))
      "~/.zsh_history"))
 (comint-read-input-ring t))

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