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I have these files in my home directory:

drwxr-xr-x    3 meuser staff           256 Oct 12 13:11 .
drwxr-xr-x  102 bin      bin            4096 Sep 30 12:28 ..
-rw-------    1 meuser staff          5349 Oct 11 20:44 .bash_history
-rwx------    1 meuser staff           466 Jun 26 22:12 .profile
-rw-------    1 meuser staff          7074 Oct 12 13:11 .sh_history
drwx------    2 meuser staff           256 Aug 16 15:28 .ssh

My default shell is korn shell. When I tried to put alias into .profile like this:

alias l='ls -lrt'

and tried to run it after relogin:

ksh: l:  not found.

How to make this alias work?

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What happens when you run . ./.profile? –  Mikel Mar 23 '14 at 3:37

2 Answers 2

.profile is only read at login. Later modifications do not affect the current environment. You have to reload .profile by means of:

  • sourcing the file: . .profile (affects the current shell, not all shells)
  • su -l <user> (new login)
  • logout + login
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That does not seem to work. I changed my default shell to bash and relogin, and then it worked. So it is somehow related to korn shell. –  jrara Oct 12 '13 at 13:16
@jrara Try adding -l to provide an login environemnt. –  Marco Oct 12 '13 at 14:28

It does work.

The only difference I can see with my own .profile are the double quotes:

alias l="ls -l"

That line works for me in AIX with ksh as the shell.

Regarding the disconection and reconection... are you sure the default shell is ksh? Check your user in /etc/passwd.

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