The alias built-in in shells, used to define shortcuts for frequently used commands.

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205
votes
10answers
24k views

In Bash, when to alias, when to script, and when to write a function?

It's taken me almost 10 years of Linux usage to ask this question. It was all trial and error and random late-night internet surfing. But people shouldn't need 10 years for this. If I were just ...
122
votes
17answers
58k views

How to have tail -f show colored output

I'd like to be able to tail the output of a server log file that has messages like: INFO SEVERE etc, and if it's SEVERE, show the line in red; if it's INFO, in green. What kind of alias can I ...
78
votes
6answers
5k views

Run a command that is shadowed by an alias

Let's say i have the following alias in bash - alias ls='ls --color=auto' - and i want to call ordinary ls without options. Is the only way to do that is to unalias, do the command and then alias ...
70
votes
27answers
17k views

Quick directory navigation in the terminal

I would like to frequently switch between directories that are in totally unrelated paths, for example /Project/Warnest/docs/ and ~/Dropbox/Projects/ds/test/. But I don't want to type cd ...
62
votes
6answers
45k views

Why doesn't my Bash script recognize aliases?

In my ~/.bashrc file reside two definitions: commandA, which is an alias to a longer path commandB, which is an alias to a Bash script I want to process the same file with these two commands, so I ...
45
votes
4answers
7k views

How to use `which` on an aliased command?

Like most users, I have a bunch of aliases set up to give a default set of flags for frequently used programs. For instance, alias vim='vim -X' alias grep='grep -E' alias ls='ls -G' The problem is ...
30
votes
3answers
10k views

How to pass parameters to an alias?

For bash script, I can use "$@" to access arguments. What's the equivalent when I use an alias?
26
votes
1answer
5k views

How do I get bash completion for command aliases?

I am looking to get tab-completion on my command line aliases, for example, say I defined the following alias : alias apt-inst='sudo aptitude install' Is there a way to get the completions ...
23
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the difference between ls and l?

I accidentally typed l instead of ls today and found that the command still printed a list of the files in my current directory. Trying l --help brings up the help file for ls suggesting that l is ...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

How can I `alias sudo !!`?

I'm trying to set an alias for sudo !! in Bash. I tried alias sbb='sudo !!', but it interprets that as a literal !! and prints sudo: !!: command not found If I use double quotes, it substitutes ...
21
votes
2answers
4k views

aliasing cd to pushd - is it a good idea?

Is it a good idea to use the following alias: cd() { pushd $1; } in bash? I think this would be very useful, since I can then use a series of popds instead of just a cd - once. Is there any ...
20
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I create an alias for a git [action] command (which includes spaces)?

Most of my my aliases are of this form: alias p='pwd' I want to alias git commit so that it does git commit -v But trying to create an alias with a space gives an error: $ alias 'git commit'='git ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Automatically detect when I typed “vi” but meant “cd”?

Title says it all. About 5 times a day, I type "vi" when I meant "cd", and end up opening a directory in vi. It's making me NUTS. It seems like there should be a way to detect when I type in "vi + ...
19
votes
6answers
813 views

Why is aliasing over standard commands not recommended?

For example, a common alias I've seen in the ~/.bashrc file (or equivalents) is alias rm='rm -i' However, I've seen people recommend against this because the alias might not exist on another ...
18
votes
4answers
21k views

How can I install the `ll` command on Mac OS X?

I'm using Mac OS X. When I SSH into servers I find the ll command useful, but it's not available on my local machine. How can I install it?
18
votes
1answer
3k views

Aliases vs functions vs scripts

This site says, "Shell functions are faster [than aliases]. Aliases are looked up after functions and thus resolving is slower. While aliases are easier to understand, shell functions are preferred ...
16
votes
6answers
14k views

Show only hidden files (dot files) in ls alias

I'm using the command ls -a | grep '^\.' for showing only the hidden files. I added the line alias hidden='ls -a | grep '^\.'' # show only hidden files to .bash_aliases file but this does not ...
16
votes
2answers
511 views

How to retrieve lost aliases?

Let me start by saying I know this was dumb. Time and Linux make fools of us all. I made an echo command to my .bash_aliases file and erased all of my aliases, except the test alias. However, I ...
16
votes
1answer
686 views

Grep alias - line numbers unless it's in a pipeline

I want to create a bash alias for grep that adds line numbers: alias grep='grep -n' But that, of course, adds line numbers to pipelines as well. Most of the time (and no exceptions come to mind) I ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a 'rc' configuration file for grep/egrep? (~/.egreprc?)

I usually do some grep when developing, and there are some extensions that I always don't want to look for (like *.pyc). Is it possible to create a ~/.egreprc or something like that, and put some ...
14
votes
4answers
14k views

How can I tell what command an alias stands for?

ll is a common alias in many Linux distros. How can I tell what it aliases to? I've tried checking my .bashrc, but I am not able tell what ll is equivalent to.
14
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I find a rogue alias declaration?

I'm trying to find where a specific alias has been declared. I've searched all the usual places I know to look for aliases: ~/.bashrc ~/.bash_profile /etc/bashrc /etc/profile With no luck. I know ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Share aliases and PATH setting between zsh and bash

The shell that I normally use is zsh. I have several aliases to enable color in some programs such as ls and grep. I've also set my custom path so that I can execute programs in non-standard place ...
12
votes
5answers
868 views

How to test for possible conflicts while using alias in bashrc?

Is there a simple way to list all the command conflicts that have occurred in the system due to the bashrc update involving alias commands? For example, someone writes alias ...
12
votes
2answers
13k views

Refresh aliases and functions after defining new aliases and functions?

When I define a new alias in .bash_aliases file or a new function in .bashrc file, is there some refresh command to be able immediately use the new aliases or functions without closing the terminal ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

alias vs export for simple commands

For simple commands like less, is it better to make an alias or to export the options? Is there any benefit of one over the other? For example, if I want less to always use the -R option to show raw ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

l, ls & la — what are the differences, and are there more of these commands?

So, through typing several commands I've found that there's not only ls, but l and la too. There doesn't appear to be any man entries on Ubuntu 12.14. They all appear to do similar things with minor ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How to document my custom bash functions and aliases?

Problem: I have multiple bash functions and aliases. I can't remember all of them off the top of my head, so I usually end up opening my .bash_functions and .bash_aliases files to find what I need. ...
11
votes
2answers
417 views

How to use - as alias?

When I was using openSUSE 11.3, it came with several aliases already set up. Two that I used a lot were + for pushd . and - for popd. Now on Debian, I can't figure out how to create the second one. ...
11
votes
1answer
893 views

How many different ways can you create an “alias” in Bash?

I only know of two ways: alias foo=bar and function foo() { bar }. The reason I'm asking is that - all of a sudden in one of my bash sessions - I cannot run the ln command because bash is erroring ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it possible to include file in config file of zsh? How?

I'd like to have a file eg. f with only zsh aliases (pureness reasons). Then I'd like to include f file in my .zshrc file, so that the aliases defined in f are visible in .zshrc. Is it possible? If ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Alias a command to run in the background

I'd like a keyboard shortcut to work as so: > e foo.txt to expand as > emacs foo.txt & It's simple to use alias e=emacs, but how do I insert the & after the filename? I realize it ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I temporarily bypass an alias in tcsh?

I am using tcsh. bash and zsh and other suggestions won't help here. I have several aliases that are named the same thing as another command, so if I did unalias it, typing the same thing would now ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

How to reset a shell environment?

This issue has been bugging me for a while, and although I've thought I've found my answer through EnvWatcher, unfortunately it only works on Bash. And I use zsh. I would like to replicate the things ...
10
votes
3answers
235 views

Defining an alias and immediately use it

In zsh this works fine: alias foo=ls foo But this does not: alias foo=ls; foo Pressing enter an extra time is not an issue when running interactively. But when running through ssh it suddenly ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Change directory without typing cd?

Is it possible to make bash change directory in command line simply by typing that directory without any commands like cd? For example is it possible instead of writing this: $ cd /tmp I just want ...
9
votes
2answers
472 views

Run another command before running the command the user wants to run

Let's say I want to modify the original behavior of the ls tool this way: $ ls Hello World file1 file2 ... How can I do this? When running ls I would like to run another command let's say echo ...
9
votes
4answers
812 views

Forcing an 'added' alias to every command

Is it possible to forcibly add a timing alias (for lack of a better way to phrase it) to every command in bash? For example, I would like to have a specific user who whenever a command is run, it is ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

watch command alias expansion

If a run the watch command containing an alias, it will not expand the alias. I have tried both with single quote and double quotes, in fact given the following alias: # alias ll alias ll='ls -l ...
8
votes
5answers
253 views

How can I “stack” shell aliases?

In my .profile (sourced in sh emulation mode from my .zshrc) I have the following snippet: if [ -f /usr/bin/pacmatic ]; then alias pacman=pacmatic fi # Colorized Pacman output alias ...
8
votes
4answers
315 views

Do you prefer bash scripts or aliases for shortcuts?

I have a ~/bin directory (which is on my PATH) where I store a lot of little 1 or 2 line scripts. Some of them just cd into a directory and run a command on a file, like vim or something. But I also ...
8
votes
3answers
894 views

Resolve all aliases in a zsh command line

I have nested aliases and I want to resolve all of them before executing the command. How do I do that? If there is a function that is not bound to any keys then M-x foobar is fine for me too. I ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Can rm recursively remove empty directories?

In an old version of Unix, the rm command would delete directories if they were empty. From the Research Unix Eighth Edition man page for rm: "If an entry is a directory it is removed only if empty." ...
7
votes
6answers
704 views

why strace ignores my alias for rm?

I have an alias set for my rm command. If I run alias command, this is what I get as output. alias rm='rm -i' Now, when I run the rm command it works fine as expected. rm ramesh rm: remove ...
7
votes
3answers
516 views

in Bash, how to not include extra arguments in an alias?

I am trying to do something like alias ftp='echo do not use ftp. Use sftp instead.' just so that ftp will not be accidentally used. But I noticed that ftp abcd.com will cause the command to ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

cp -f cannot overwrite cp -i alias

In my /home/user/.bashrc file, I have those aliases to prevent mistakes: alias rm='rm -i' alias cp='cp -i' alias mv='mv -i' If I'm really sure of what I'm doing, I can overwrite rm and mv aliases ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I alias to `!!` (last command)?

!! in bash runs last command. I find it too difficult to type given how much I use it. alias to the rescue, I presumed. Or not. I tried: $ alias dl='!!' # Aliasing $ echo Testing123 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is a symbolic/soft link similar to a shortcut/alias on a desktop?

It sounds to me like the basic idea of soft/symbolic links compared to shortcuts (on a PC) or aliases (on a Mac) are the same thing. Am I way off? Are they similar?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between alias in zsh and alias in bash

I have searched around but could not find anything conclusive. Is there a difference between the alias command in zsh and the alias command in bash? If not, does it mean I can share a set of aliases ...
7
votes
1answer
515 views

Does one alias affect another alias?

I don't have many aliases set up in my .bash_aliases file just yet. Only recently have I discovered how useful they can be. I can see myself getting quite hooked on aliases so before the file gets ...