by jimhester

Per directory history for zsh, as well as global history, and the ability to toggle between them wit...

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Per directory history for zsh, as well as global history, and the ability to toggle between them with ^G.

This is a implementation of per directory history for zsh, some implementations of which exist in bash1,2. It also implements a per-directory-history-toggle-history function to change from using the directory history to using the global history. In both cases the history is always saved to both the global history and the directory history, so the toggle state will not effect the saved histories. Being able to switch between global and directory histories on the fly is a novel feature as far as I am aware.

This is a standalone repository for the script, however it is also included in oh-my-zsh as a plugin.


  1. Load this script into your interactive ZSH session:

    % source zsh-per-directory-history.zsh
  2. The default mode if per directory history, interact with your history as normal.

  3. Press ^G (the Control and G keys simultaneously) to toggle between local and global histories. If you would prefer a different shortcut to toggle set the PERDIRECTORYHISTORY_TOGGLE environment variable.


  • HISTORY_BASE a global variable that defines the base directory in which the directory histories are stored
  • per-directory-history-toggle-history is the function to toggle the history


The idea/inspiration for a per directory history is from Stewart MacArthur and Dieter, the implementation idea is from Bart Schaefer. The implementation is by Jim Hester in September 2012.

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