I've the file, like:

name = foo
# unknown number of lines ...
features_exclude[rules_config][] = rule1 
features_exclude[rules_config][] = rule2 
features_exclude[rules_config][] = rule3 
features_exclude[rules_config][] = rule4

and I'd like to run :/_exclude/s/// command on it and repeat it one more time (@:).

I've tried things suggested in here, however it doesn't work.

So when using @: to repeat the last command-line change, it gives me the error:

E30: No previous command line

So it seems it doesn't recognise what was the previous command line.

Here is example:

$ ex '+:/_exclude/s///p' '+@:' -scwq -V1 foo.txt 
"foo.txt" 10 lines, 375 characters
search hit BOTTOM, continuing at TOP
features[rules_config][] = rule1 

Error detected while processing command line:
E30: No previous command line
"foo.txt" 10 lines, 367 characters written

Why is that? Are there any other reliable ways of repeating the last Ex command?

2 Answers 2


:help E30 states

The command-line is only stored in this register when at least one character of it was typed. Thus it remains unchanged if the command was completed from a mapping.

It seems like Vim is not considering commands specified via + (or -c) to be typed, so ": isn't updated.

I'm not sure if that's expected behavior or just an oversight.


I imagine there must be an easier way. Since @: is accessing a special register, you can use registers yourself:

$ vim -Nesc ":let @a = '/_exclude/s///p'" +@a +@a +wq foo    
features[rules_config][] = rule1 
features[rules_config][] = rule2 

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