Alias Frequently Used Commands in Linux
Updated by Linode Written by Edward Angert
What is an Alias?
An alias is a custom shortcut set to represent a set of commands or a single command run with specific options. Use an alias to execute frequently used processes with as little as a single character.
List Existing Aliases
Where to Find and Edit Aliases in Bash, Z shell (ZSH), and fish
The Bash shell is the default on most modern operating systems. If using ZSH, oh-my-zsh or fish, the shell’s configuration file may be in another location. Based on the shell in use, the configuration profile will be found in:
Create a Temporary Alias
Aliases can be created through the command line using the syntax
alias customName="commands the alias should run". For example:
alias webroot="cd /var/www/html/example.com/public_html"
Remove an Alias
Any alias added through the command line can be unaliased using
Create a Permanent Alias
To create a persistent alias, edit the configuration profile for your shell and add the alias to the end of the file:
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... alias la="ls -al" ...
Refresh the Configuration
source the configuration file to refresh the configuration changes:
Alias Existing Linux Commands
Existing Linux commands can be aliased to run with frequently-used options. As with any alias, this should be used with caution as once a user is accustomed to the results of the alias, the user may expect the same results on other machines or terminals where the alias may not exist.
In this example, change the default behavior of the
ls command to provide more information about files and directory structure:
alias ls="ls -aFhl"
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This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.