Make Oh My Zsh history play nicely with WebStorm / IntelliJ

Disappearing history entries were bugging me for a long time. I would try to look for a command that I KNEW I recently typed, but it was gone.

Today I felt that enough is enough. I noticed I had a different command history in iterm, different in WebStorm, and on top of that none of them had the command I was looking for.

After a quick investigation, it looks like WebStorm is mostly to blame since its "shell integration" functionality overwrites some settings set up by OhMyZsh, in particular, the file to which write history.

Additionally, I believe both WebStorm and OhMyZsh  by default write to history on a successful terminal exit. Which tends to be problematic if your sessions don't quit cleanly, or frequently :)

Solution:

Add

export HISTFILE=~/.zsh_history
export HISTFILESIZE=1000000000
export HISTSIZE=1000000000
setopt APPEND_HISTORY 
setopt INC_APPEND_HISTORY

at the end of your ~/.zshrc file.

The first line is most important, and you can possibly skip the other ones. It forces WebStorm to use the same history file.

As for the ones about Hist Size - I've increased the limits since I'm not sure what's the point of removing old entries - they are also possibly a useful source of information. With how fast and large our SSD hard drives are, I don't expect this to become problematic for years :) And if the history seems to get slower, I can always trim it.

APPEND_HISTORY and INC_APPEND_HISTORY are possibly already happening, and are responsible for adding commands to the history file as they happen, but I don't trust WebStorm anymore not to mess with the settings in the future, so I decided to add them here just to be safe.

One last thing, let's merge the histories together (hacky way and the history will not be in order, but it worked for me):

# back up your current history:
cp ~/.zsh_history ~/.zsh_history.bak
# Run this from a terminal tab inside IDE and make sure it references a file from WebStorm/IntelliJ folder
echo $HISTFILE

# If it does, run:

cat `echo $HISTFILE` >> ~/.zsh_history

# to merge the histories together. If something went wrong, you can restore the old history:
# mv  ~/.zsh_history.bak ~/.zsh_history

Feel free to let me know if what I'm doing here is crazy - it definitely fixed my issue.

Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts in the comments below.


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