The following alias for finding a file works in tcsh but not in bash.

alias ff "find . -name '*\!{*}*' -ls"

When I put the above line in .bashrc and then source it I get :

bash-3.2$ source .bashrc
bash: alias: ff: not found
bash: alias: find . -name '*\!{*}*' -ls: not found

Now if I define the alias but putting an equals sign just after the alias name the above error goes away but it doesn't work as expected.

 alias ff="find . -name '*\!{*}*' -ls" 

Now if I source the file the previous error goes away but the find command doesn't work as expected.

 bash-3.2$ source .bashrc
 bash-3.2$ ff somefile
 find: paths must precede expression
 Usage: find [-H] [-L] [-P] [path...] [expression]
  • What is the tcsh alias supposed to do?
    – choroba
    Sep 1, 2014 at 10:38
  • @choroba the alias will give a long listing of any file or directory names that contain the argument when a file or directory name is given as an argument.
    – Geek
    Sep 1, 2014 at 10:40

1 Answer 1


Aliases in bash can't process arguments. If you need to process an argument, use a function instead:

ff () { find . -name "*$1*" -ls ; }
  • What does *$1* expand to?
    – Geek
    Sep 1, 2014 at 10:48
  • first argument to ff command between **
    – pqnet
    Sep 1, 2014 at 12:06

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