Failed to save last-line mode history and Invalid history file format. [Press return to continue]

Hi experts.

After quitting seeing a file in vi with q!, I have the following message in the server:

Sat Oct 15 08:00:22 2011
Thread 1 advanced to log sequence 4709 (LGWR switch)
  Current log# 2 seq# 4709 mem# 0: /pststdb01/dmo/ora1/log/redo01b.log
  Current log# 2 seq# 4709 mem# 1: /pststdb01/dmo/ora1/log/redo02b.log
  Current log# 2 seq# 4709 mem# 2: /pststdb01/dmo/ora1/log/redo03b.log
Failed to save last-line mode history.--------------------------------------->What is this message?
psdevtstdb:/pststdb01/dmo/ora1/admin/bdump> touch test
psdevtstdb:/pststdb01/dmo/ora1/admin/bdump> rm test

psdevtstdb:/pststdb01/dev/ora1/admin/bdump> vi alert*.log
Invalid history file format.  [Press return to continue]
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Are you working in the BASH

history -c will clear the history list and history -d N will delete a history entry N.

By default, the history list is kept in user's home directory in a file '.bash_history'.

LindaCAuthor Commented:
Thank you.
I'am using ksh

psdevtstdb:/home/oracle> ls -ltr *hist*
ls: 0653-341 The file *hist* does not exist.

This are some tries in the $HOME

psdevtstdb:/home/oracle> ls -ltr
total 368
drwxr-s---   3 oracle   dba             512 Jan 12 2009  admin
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba             157 Jan 19 2009  smit.script
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba             299 Jan 19 2009  smit.transaction
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              36 Feb 03 2009  dropSysadm.sql
drwxrwx---   2 root     system          512 Feb 10 2009  lost+found
-rw-r-----   1 oracle   dba           15555 Jun 12 2009  findev.htm
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              41 Jun 14 2009  afiedt.buf
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba            9261 Aug 04 2010  spdtab.lis
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba            1294 Aug 04 2010  spdusr.lis
drwxr-S---   3 oracle   dba             512 Jan 05 2011  oradiag_oracle
drwxr-sr-x   7 oracle   dba             512 Aug 02 07:03 dba
drwxrws---   7 oracle   oinstall        512 Aug 15 16:00 oraInventory
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              29 Sep 16 02:00 export_FINDEV_dpump.201
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              29 Sep 17 02:00 export_FINDEV_dpump.201
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              29 Sep 18 02:00 export_FINDEV_dpump.201
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              29 Sep 19 02:00 export_FINDEV_dpump.201
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              29 Sep 20 02:00 export_FINDEV_dpump.201
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              29 Sep 21 02:00 export_FINDEV_dpump.201
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              29 Sep 22 02:00 export_FINDEV_dpump.201
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              29 Sep 23 02:00 export_FINDEV_dpump.201
-rw-r--r--   1 oracle   dba              29 Sep 24 02:00 export_FINDEV_dpump.201
The korn shell also has command line history

ls *.hist*
Fundamentals of JavaScript

Learn the fundamentals of the popular programming language JavaScript so that you can explore the realm of web development.

LindaCAuthor Commented:
psdevtstdb:/home/oracle> ls *.hist*
ls: 0653-341 The file *.hist* does not exist.

this happens in AIX 5.3 TL 5 and below if the user doesn't have a HOME directory, or if it is not writeable.

There are fixes for this issue from IBM:

Basically fixing this problem means upgrading to a TL > 5.

Of course you could make sure that the user has a valid, writeable HOME to avoid this message, or you could ignore it if you want/have to keep this user homeless.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
The command to find the command history file under ksh in AIX is

ls -la .sh_history

View the command history with


(or "fc -l", history is an alias).

history -1000 will give the last 1000 entries (if present)

If the history file is indeed corrupt you can safely delete it:

rm .sh_history

Logout and login again to free the corresponding file handle.
You will now have a new, clean history.

LindaCAuthor Commented:
Thank you, you are correct.  The system Admin made a fsck and the rebooted the server which fix the "no writable" of the /home/oracke $HOME directory.

Now I can see the history and the issue is fixed.

psdevtstdb:/home/oracle> ls -la .sh_history
-rw-------   1 oracle   dba            4200 Oct 19 08:08 .sh_history
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Unix OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.