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Use fzf for ksh history search

Written by Solène, on 17 October 2021.
Tags: #openbsd #shell #ksh #fzf

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1. Introduction §

fzf is a powerful tool to interactively select a line among data piped to stdin, a simple example is to pick a line in your shell history and it's my main fzf use.

fzf ships with bindings for bash, zsh or fish but doesn't provide anything for ksh, OpenBSD default shell. I found a way to run it with Ctrl+R but it comes with a limitation!

This setup will run fzf for looking a history line with Ctrl+R and will run it without allowing you to edit the line! /!\

2. Configuration §

In your interactive shell configuration file (should be the one set in $ENV), add the following function and binding, it will rebind Ctrl+R to fzf-histo function that will look into your shell history.

function fzf-histo {
    RES=$(fzf --tac --no-sort -e < $HISTFILE)
    test -n "$RES" || exit 0
    eval "$RES"

bind -m ^R=fzf-histo^J

Reload your file or start a new shell, Ctrl+R should now run fzf for a more powerful history search. Don't forget to install fzf package.