To reuse the arguments from the previous command line on the current command line, use “!*”. The arguments are considered anything on the command line except for the first item. Since the first item is almost always a command, then everything following is an argument.
Using this shortcut can be helpful in a couple of different situations. First, it’s great when you are working on a list or series of items such as files or directories. It also proves to be useful when you accidentally mistype a command. Instead of typing the entire command line over again, simply correct your typing mistake and follow it with “!*”.
The following is an example of working with a series of items.
$ ls file1 file2 file3 file1 file2 file3 $ vi !* $ mv !* /tmp/
Yet another example dealing with a list of items. In this case, directories.
$ mkdir one two three $ chmod 700 !* $ ls -l drwx------ 2 jason users 4096 Jul 5 18:44 one drwx------ 2 jason users 4096 Jul 5 18:44 three drwx------ 2 jason users 4096 Jul 5 18:44 two
Here are examples of correcting command typos.
$ grpe -i error /var/log/syslog grpe: command not found $ grep !* Jul 5 23:47:25 linuxsvr dbus: [system] Error activating service 'org.freedesktop.Accounts' $ sud apt-get install docker.io sud: command not found $ sudo !* Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done The following extra packages will be installed: aufs-tools Suggested packages: btrfs-tools lxc rinse The following NEW packages will be installed: aufs-tools docker.io 0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 5 not upgraded. Need to get 3,818 kB of archives. After this operation, 22.5 MB of additional disk space will be used. Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y Fetched 3,818 kB in 37s (103 kB/s) Selecting previously unselected package aufs-tools. (Reading database ... 241571 files and directories currently installed.) Preparing to unpack .../aufs-tools_1%3a3.2+20130722-1.1_amd64.deb ... Unpacking aufs-tools (1:3.2+20130722-1.1) ... Selecting previously unselected package docker.io. Preparing to unpack .../docker.io_0.9.1~dfsg1-2_amd64.deb ... Unpacking docker.io (0.9.1~dfsg1-2) ... Processing triggers for man-db (22.214.171.124-1) ... Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-16) ... Setting up aufs-tools (1:3.2+20130722-1.1) ... Setting up docker.io (0.9.1~dfsg1-2) ... Adding group `docker' (GID 132) ... Done. docker.io start/running, process 4110 Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.19-0ubuntu6) ... Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-16) ... $