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Date:      Fri, 20 May 2016 20:49:29 +0200
From:      Polytropon <freebsd@edvax.de>
To:        byrnejb@harte-lyne.ca
Cc:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: history utility
Message-ID:  <20160520204929.3209046e.freebsd@edvax.de>
In-Reply-To: <af5631f60eb1e33606eaf16362835193.squirrel@webmail.harte-lyne.ca>
References:  <af5631f60eb1e33606eaf16362835193.squirrel@webmail.harte-lyne.ca>

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On Fri, 20 May 2016 14:17:09 -0400, James B. Byrne wrote:
> As is no doubt obvious from what I am trying to do I come from a bash
> background.
> 
> While logged in as root I run the history command and see this:
> 
> # history
>      1	20:02	date 12:13:30
>      2	20:03	date 121350
>      3	13:51	man adjtime
>      4	13:51	apropos clock
>      5	13:52	apropos time
>      6	13:53	man adjkerntz
>      7	13:58	man clock
>      8	13:58	man hwclock
>      9	14:00	man date
> . . .

Which shell is this? What does "echo $SHELL" report, and which
shell is defined for this user account in /etc/passwd's shell
field? Just to be sure...



> I am used to bash and have this in my root .bash_profile on other
> systems.
> 
> # Timestamp History
> export HISTTIMEFORMAT='%F %T: '
> 


> Looking in the default ~/.profile I see this:
> 
> # $FreeBSD: releng/10.3/etc/root/dot.profile 199243 2009-11-13
> 05:54:55Z ed $
> #
> PATH=/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:~/bin
> export PATH
> HOME=/root
> export HOME
> TERM=${TERM:-xterm}
> export TERM
> PAGER=more
> export PAGER
> 
> Which to me implies that adding this should work.
> 
> echo "export HISTTIMEFORMAT='%F %T: '" >> .profile

Yes, this should work, if bash uses .profile. If I remember correctly,
it doesn't - instead it reads .bash_profile.

See "man bash" for the difference of .bash_profile and .bashrc.



> But nooo.  What I see from source .profile is:
> 
> PATH=/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:~/bin:
> Command not found.
> export: Command not found.
> HOME=/root: Command not found.
> export: Command not found.
> Bad : modifier in $ (-).
> 
> Which tells me that .profile is either processed differently than I
> expect or not at all.

This looks strange. You'll get this if you feed those commands
to the C shell (which doesn't use export, but setenv, and has
a different initialization file, .cshrc or .login).

Try with bash:

	$ history
	   [...]
	   500  history
	$ export HISTTIMEFORMAT='%F %T: '
	$ history
	   [...]
	   502  2016-05-20 20:41:15: history

This probably is what you've expected. Now let's try C shell:

	% history
	   [...]
	   178  20:44   history
	% export HISTTIMEFORMAT='%F %T: '
	export: Command not found.

To be expected.



> So, my questions are:
> 
> What is the purpose of .profile?

This is the profile file for /bin/sh, FreeBSD's default scripting
shell, and dialog shell for maintenance mode. It's a rewrite of
the classic Bourne shell, the (quite limited) predecessor of bash.



> How is it used?

As explained in "man sh". :-)



> Why is there no export command found given that man sh explicitly
> mentions the builtin command 'export'?

Because it seems that you've issued the export command to the C shell,
which does not have it.

Regarding history timestamps, I think that the C shell does not have
that feature. However, you can use bash which obviously implements
it. You just need to start bash. ;-)



-- 
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...



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