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How to pass parameters to an alias?

I am trying to make a bash alias that will allow me to quickly make an archive of the current git repo.

My current alias is:

alias gitarch="git archive master --format=tar | gzip >$@"

This works great if I supply a destination file exactly like gitarch ~/Desktop/MyArchive.tar.gz but I want to be able to just type a filename and it will always save to the desktop with the tar.gz extension. I tried doing:

alias gitarch="git archive master --format=tar | gzip >~/Desktop/$@.tar.gz"

But it doesnt seem to work correctly.

Can anyone tell me the secret to getting this working?

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marked as duplicate by Gilles, Kevin, Michael Mrozek Jan 14 '12 at 5:50

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

To help a little bit more, if you say alias sayhello='echo "sayhello $@ and something else"' and then you type sayhello Dario it will show sayhello and something else Dario. That is the problem of the $@ you used. You're creating a .tar.gzYOURNAME file, so that the file should be hidden =P –  D4RIO Jan 13 '12 at 21:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The secret is simply creating a bash function instead - aliases don't support positional parameter substitution:

gitarch() { git archive master --format=tar | gzip >"$1"; }
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The only "thing" is that it will not be shown when you say just 'alias' –  D4RIO Jan 13 '12 at 20:53
@D4RIO No problem, just use set to list the functions or type. –  user13742 Jan 13 '12 at 20:54
I would use "$1" instead of $@. –  enzotib Jan 13 '12 at 21:26
Thank you, I've managed to get it working with all your help. I'm not exactly sure why this is flagged as duplicate, the other possible question was nothing like mine. –  ThisDarkTao Jan 14 '12 at 9:55

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