Fedora 8: tcsh .history file destroyed on exit?

David Jansen jansen at strw.leidenuniv.nl
Mon Feb 25 15:21:26 UTC 2008

On Sat, Feb 23, 2008 at 10:00:37AM -0800, James Frye wrote:
> > James Frye <fryeja at us.ibm.com> wrote:
> >
> >  > I've just installed Fedora 8 on a new machine (Lenovo T61p), and am
> having
> >  > problems getting
> >  > tcsh to run correctly.  The main problem is that when I exit,
> the .history
> >  > file is destroyed.  It's
> >  > not that the current session history is not saved.  I copied
> a .history
> >  > file from my older machine
> >  > loaded it, and the history mechanism works as expected for that
> session.
> >  > On restart, though,
> >  > I find that the .history file has been truncated to 0 bytes.
> >
> > Thank God, I'm not the only one on this planet with that problem.
> > I'm using the version of "tcsh" that comes with Fedora 8 (manually
> > installed with "yum" because someone decided that "tcsh" shouldn't
> > be part of the default installation any longer).

That was indeed a "nasty" surprise on F8, especially since my
post-install script that I used to customize the installation was a tcsh
script;) But well, installing tcsh from a customized kickstart file took
care of that part. Still, I would prefer it to be available in the
package selection in the installer.

On the other hand, onze I had tcsh back on the system, I have not seem
the 0-byte .histrory file problem. I'm currently using a couple of
computers, with a mix of fedora 7, Fedora 8 and rawhide, with /home
shared over nfs, and I have not encountered any problems. So
unfortunately, I have no tip or solution for you to solve the issue.

> I installed the "yum" version, and still have the same problems.  My userid
> doesn't
> save history (though your trick works around it), root doesn't even execute
> its
> .login or .cshrc - but does seem to execute commands that are
> in .bashrc :-(

Well, that seems to indicate that root still has bash as its shell, as
is the default on Fedora (and almost any Linux/Unix system). So either
change root's shell in /etc/passwd (but, maybe this will break something
in the system!), execute tcsh every time you use su, of just accept that
root uses bash and modify your customizations to work in bash (if it's
just a small set of environment settings, aliases etc).
> > After some research with Google, I lost all hope because nobody
> > seems to use tcsh, fvwm2 and xterm nowadays. I'm a dying dinosaur.
> There is a fairly active fvwm forum, and ongoing development: fvwm.lair.be
> I can't really relate to the "dinosaur" comment.  I think it's a different
> attitude.  To me the computer is a tool with which I do certain things,
> not an end in itself, so I don't need/want decoration.

I'm probably a partial dinosaur then, I use tcsh, and sometimes xterm (gnome
terminal over an ssh X-tunnel does not really work). 
On the other hand, I enjoy the decoration and other nice desktop features,
as long as they don't interfere with using the computer to get work
done. So I run gnome, and most of the time compiz as well. 
But for other bits of work, I prefer xterm, mutt, vi etc. It's all about
choice and freedom, so everyone can pick their own set of tools.

David Jansen

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