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Sometimes we use Linux commands with many long arguments, and to use the same command with a little modification we are obliged to go through these args and modify them one by one.
Example :

touch /home/user1/test/scenario.txt  /etc/my-server/users/user1.cnf /var/log/my-server/user1.log

What will I do if I want to do the same to user2?

To replace all occurrences in the last command you can use the command below:

!:gs/old_occurrence/new_occurrence

!refers to the last command
gs refers to global substitute
To replace a word you can use the command below:

^old_word^new_word

Examples:

[www1.linuxnix] root:~ # touch test1 scenario1 result1
[www1.linuxnix] root:~ # !:gs/1/2
touch test2 scenario2 result2
[www1.linuxnix] root:~ # ls -l test* scenario* result*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 result1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 result2
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 scenario1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 scenario2
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 test1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 test2
[www1.linuxnix] root:~ # mkdir -p tests/exp/scenario1/tools/
[www1.linuxnix] root:~ # ^exp^lab
mkdir -p tests/lab/scenario1/tools/
[www1.linuxnix] root:~ # tree tests
tests
├── exp
│   └── scenario1
│       └── tools
└── lab
    └── scenario1
        └── tools

6 directories, 0 files

Note: when you use ^^ with multiple occurrences, only the first occurrence is replaced.
Example:

[www1.linuxnix] root:~ # ls -l test1 scenario1 result1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 result1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 scenario1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 test1
[www1.linuxnix] root:~ # ^1^2
ls -l test2 scenario1 result1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 result1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 scenario1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Nov 20 16:45 test2

Replace the last word in history

Suppose we executed below command and want to replace ls with the cat to see the content we can use bash shortcuts either !$ or $_ for this.

ls -l /etc/passwd

cat $_  or cat !$

I hope that this blog helped you. Please visit our website for other interesting blogs and feel free to leave your feedbacks and thoughts. Till next time!

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I am a hands-on, competent Linux system engineer with 5 years’ experience. I have a strong performance background in wide variety of professional Linux system support including monitoring, configuration, troubleshooting and maintenance. I have worked on numerous projects from concept to completion. A specialist in LAMP platforms, I take pride in administrating Linux systems and regularly refresh my skills to ensure I keep up with ongoing developments and new technologies.