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Quick and easy sudo trick for servers

keysQuestion: I just typed a really long complicated command line string on my server, but I forgot to type “sudo” at the beginning. Is there a quick way to enter it again?

Answer: The history feature in Linux and Unix-like operating systems is truly a beautiful thing. With it, you can easily re-enter commands. But what do you do if you need to re-enter a command but need to add “sudo” to the beginning? On Ubuntu, Mac OS X, and many other servers, “sudo” is the default method used to gain administrative rights, but it must be entered before each administrative command.

There are two ways to fix this. One is to simply press the up arrow. You will again see your command exactly as you typed it. To add sudo to the beginning, press the “Home” key, which should move the cursor to the front. Then, all you have to do is enter sudo, add a space, and press Enter.

An even quicker method is to use “sudo !!” to automatically reload the command with sudo. This will look to the last command entered in the “history” list and run it again. You can also use “!!” without sudo anytime you want to quickly run a command again.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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