412Linux

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Atuin - Magical shell history

2024-01-10 atuin 412Linux

In episode 10 of the Linux Matters podcast, they mentioned a project that creates a magical shell history called Atuin. So I decided to check it out. Setup was easy and the documentation provided all of the required information to get started. I have been using Atuin for about 4.5 months. I can now say that it is one of my go to applications on both my daily driver and ancillary devices.

Here are some of my notes using Atuin for a few months:

  • Setup was easy and well documented.
  • Subsequent upgrades have been successful without any issues.
  • While I do not currently self host an Atuin server, having this option is fantastic. I appreciate the project providing this option as I currently self host multiple solutions. I expect I will be self hosting Atuin in the future.
  • Prior to syncing my shell history to an online service, I was concerned about the security related to the project. Their encryption was updated as outlined in this Blog post. I do not have the technical capabilities to discredit the in-use encryption scheme. I can however review the openness of their information and the level of effort put into keeping the project secure. Ultimately for me, I determined it was acceptable to sync my history to an online service.
  • Atuin stats command is fantastic. It allows you to see your most utilized commands in a handy little chart.
  • The search functionality is incredibly useful. I am able to just start typing the command and the previous entries show up with easy access via the alt + number command.
  • Don’t forget the alt + number shortcut. It allows you to easily choose the command from th history list. I find this really helpful when searching.
  • I do find the syncing feature between devices helpful. It isn’t a feature I use frequently, but I really appreciate it when I use it.

Overall, this appears to be a great project run by enthusiastic people. I have successfully incorporated Atuin in to my daily workflow. I have also developed muscle and visual memory for the tool when using the terminal. I especially notice it when on a device where it isn’t installed. No more “history | grep " commands littering up my history when trying to recall that command from a month ago.

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