I know this sound really wierd but this is exactly what happens. I have my .profile and .bashrc file set up in a way that the .bash_aliases file gets executed (checked it with a echo). I do not get any errors and the aliases have worked an another machine.

I use the following command to see what aliases are registered.

echo $(alias | cut -d '=' -f 1 | sort -u)

I put this in the .bash_aliases file and it showed my aliases. Then I put it in the .bashrc file right after the call of the .bash_aliases file. The amazing thing is that the aliases, that have just bein created and printed, have vanished! They do no longer exist!

To show it better I'm going to give you the output when I log in and the content of the files.


Aliases before .bashrc

Aliases before .bash_aliases
alias alert alias dir alias egrep alias fgrep alias grep alias l alias la alias ll alias ls alias vdir
Aliases before executing .bash_aliases

Aliases after executing .bash_aliases
alias duh alias l. alias server alias sh alias testserver
Aliases after .bash_aliases
alias alert alias dir alias egrep alias fgrep alias grep alias l alias la alias ll alias ls alias vdir
Aliases after .bashrc


# ~/.profile: executed by the command interpreter for login shells.
# This file is not read by bash(1), if ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bash_login
# exists.
# see /usr/share/doc/bash/examples/startup-files for examples.
# the files are located in the bash-doc package.

# the default umask is set in /etc/profile; for setting the umask
# for ssh logins, install and configure the libpam-umask package.
#umask 022

echo Aliases before .bashrc
echo $(alias | cut -d '=' -f 1 | sort -u)

# if running bash
if [ -n "$BASH_VERSION" ]; then
    # include .bashrc if it exists
    if [ -f "$HOME/.bashrc" ]; then
         bash "$HOME/.bashrc"

echo Aliases after .bashrc
echo $(alias | cut -d '=' -f 1 | sort -u)

# set PATH so it includes user's private bin if it exists
if [ -d "$HOME/bin" ] ; then


# ~/.bashrc: executed by bash(1) for non-login shells.
# see /usr/share/doc/bash/examples/startup-files (in the package bash-doc)
# for examples

# don't put duplicate lines or lines starting with space in the history.
# See bash(1) for more options

# append to the history file, don't overwrite it
shopt -s histappend

# for setting history length see HISTSIZE and HISTFILESIZE in bash(1)

# check the window size after each command and, if necessary,
# update the values of LINES and COLUMNS.
shopt -s checkwinsize

# If set, the pattern "**" used in a pathname expansion context will
# match all files and zero or more directories and subdirectories.
#shopt -s globstar

# make less more friendly for non-text input files, see lesspipe(1)
[ -x /usr/bin/lesspipe ] && eval "$(SHELL=/bin/sh lesspipe)"

# set variable identifying the chroot you work in (used in the prompt below)
if [ -z "${debian_chroot:-}" ] && [ -r /etc/debian_chroot ]; then
    debian_chroot=$(cat /etc/debian_chroot)

# set a fancy prompt (non-color, unless we know we "want" color)
case "$TERM" in
    xterm-color) color_prompt=yes;;

# uncomment for a colored prompt, if the terminal has the capability; turned
# off by default to not distract the user: the focus in a terminal window
# should be on the output of commands, not on the prompt

if [ -n "$force_color_prompt" ]; then
    if [ -x /usr/bin/tput ] && tput setaf 1 >&/dev/null; then
    # We have color support; assume it's compliant with Ecma-48
    # (ISO/IEC-6429). (Lack of such support is extremely rare, and such
    # a case would tend to support setf rather than setaf.)

if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$ '
unset color_prompt force_color_prompt

# If this is an xterm set the title to user@host:dir
case "$TERM" in
    PS1="\[\e]0;${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h: \w\a\]$PS1"

# enable color support of ls and also add handy aliases
if [ -x /usr/bin/dircolors ]; then
    test -r ~/.dircolors && eval "$(dircolors -b ~/.dircolors)" || eval "$(dircolors -b)"
    alias ls='ls --color=auto'
    alias dir='dir --color=auto'
    alias vdir='vdir --color=auto'

    alias grep='grep --color=auto'
    alias fgrep='fgrep --color=auto'
    alias egrep='egrep --color=auto'

# some more ls aliases
alias ll='ls -alF'
alias la='ls -A'
alias l='ls -CF'

# Add an "alert" alias for long running commands.  Use like so:
#   sleep 10; alert
alias alert='notify-send --urgency=low -i "$([ $? = 0 ] && echo terminal || echo error)" "$(history|tail -n1|sed -e '\''s/^\s*[0-9]\+\s*//;s/[;&|]\s*alert$//'\'')"'

# Alias definitions.
# You may want to put all your additions into a separate file like
# ~/.bash_aliases, instead of adding them here directly.
# See /usr/share/doc/bash-doc/examples in the bash-doc package.

echo Aliases before .bash_aliases
echo $(alias | cut -d '=' -f 1 | sort -u)

if [ -f "$HOME/.bash_aliases" ]; then
    bash "$HOME/.bash_aliases"

echo Aliases after .bash_aliases
echo $(alias | cut -d '=' -f 1 | sort -u)

# enable programmable completion features (you don't need to enable
# this, if it's already enabled in /etc/bash.bashrc and /etc/profile
# sources /etc/bash.bashrc).
if ! shopt -oq posix; then
    if [ -f /usr/share/bash-completion/bash_completion ]; then
        bash /usr/share/bash-completion/bash_completion    
    elif [ -f /etc/bash_completion ]; then
        bash /etc/bash_completion


echo Aliases before executing .bash_aliases
echo $(alias | cut -d '=' -f 1 | sort -u)

alias server="bash ~/start.sh"
alias testserver="bash ~/test/start.sh"
alias sh="bash"

## Show hidden files ##
alias l.='ls -d .* --color=auto'

memory() {
  if [ $# -eq 0 ]; then
    parameter=("-sc" *)

  du -Lb "${parameter[@]}" | awk '
    function hr(bytes) {
      for (x = 1099511627776; x >= 1024; x /= 1024) {
        if (bytes >= x) {
          return sprintf("%8.3f %s", bytes/x, hum[x]);
      return sprintf("%4d     B", bytes);

      print hr($1) "\t" $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9

alias duh="memory"

echo Aliases after executing .bash_aliases
echo $(alias | cut -d '=' -f 1 | sort -u)

1 Answer 1


You are running your .bashrc in a subshell. Which exits.


bash ~/.bashrc

You need to source the file.

source ~/.bashrc


. ~/.bashrc
  • Thank you! That worked. These are these little things that drive you crazy!
    – BrainStone
    Oct 14, 2013 at 14:59

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