I can't believe that this is not doable.
I'm running Ubuntu Server 10.04 at home, and at work I run Debian Lenny.
Back in the DOS days, I could partially type a command, then hit the "F8" key, and if any command I had typed in my history matched what I was typing now it would auto-complete the command to what I had typed before.
Basically it was a quick way to search my history and repeat a command I typed before.
In linux, the "up arrow" method to traverse my history works, but I have no way to "autocomplete" what I'm typing. I usually have to run the "history" command, pipe it to grep, and then copy-paste whatever I see. That is so tedious it usually is worth it to just re-type the command.
Somebody tell me there's an easy way to accomplish the "F8" shortcut that I am so used to using from DOS.