Creating Aliases on Linux and Mac
Note: The following steps should also apply to MacOS as well.
Are you tired of typing long commands into the terminal? Did you misremember a flag causing an error making you pull out your hair for 2 minutes only to realize that flag doesn’t exist? Well worry no more because I’ll be showing you how to create aliases for all of those pesky hard-to-remember commands.
What are aliases?
An alias is just a fancy term for nicknaming a certain command.
They are very useful because instead of typing out a long command with several flags and options, you can nickname it to a shorter command (i.e. give it an alias) and simply remember the shorter command.
Editing the “.bashrc” File
The first step in creating aliases is to open up a new terminal window and head over to your user’s directory like so:
Note: By convention, you would usually define your aliases inside of the “.bashrc” file but because defining all of your aliases here can get out of hand pretty quick, we’ll be creating a separate file in which we’ll be defining our aliases.
From here, you’ll want to open up the “.bashrc” file like so:
sudo nano .bashrc
Inside of “.bashrc” you’ll want to paste in the following snippet of code:
The snippet of code above simply tells bash that if the file “.bash_aliases” exists then load it and run it.
Now, enter CTRL+X → Y → Enter to save the file.
Inside of the “/home/<username>” directory, you’ll want to create a new file called “.bash_aliases.” You can do so with the following command:
It’s in this file that you’ll want to create your aliases. Open up the “.bash_aliases” file like so:
sudo nano .bash_aliases
Now, to create an alias you can do the following:
To save your file you can do CTRL+X → Y → Enter.
Now, enter one last command to load our aliases.
Now, if you type in your custom alias into the terminal, it would be like if you were actually typing the longer command that you aliased.
Note: Every time you edit the “.bash_aliases” file you will have to reload the “.bashrc” file or start a new terminal session for the changes to take effect.
Thanks and have a good one!
Originally published at https://blog.alanjc.com.