Add Bash Aliases

1 minute read

Instead of having to type a frequently used command, I can specify a “short word” (shortcut) to represent it. The “short word” is an alias.

For example, to update my Debian system there are two commands to be typed, sudo apt update, then sudo apt upgrade. I can turn it into an alias of aptuu.

alias aptuu='sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade'

The next time I need to update the system, I only have to type the command ‘aptuu’.

Please read further for more specific steps.

1. How to add a alias

  • Step 1: Create a ~/.bash_aliases file with touch ~/.bash_aliases.

You can actually add an alias directly to the bottom of the .bashrc but using a separate .bash_aliases file is recommended.

  • Step 2: Add a alias

Add a line with this syntax to ~/.bash_aliases file:

alias command_shortcut_word='Bash command go here'

A very simple rule is that the shortcut word needs to be “weird” and “meaningful”. It has to be “weird” so that there has not been any command with that word in the system (at the moment and in the future) and it has to be meaningful for easier to remember.

  • Step 3: Update Bash environment by the command source ~/.bashrc.

2. Several alias examples

Update Debian system

alias aptuu='sudo apt update && apt list --upgradable && sudo apt upgrade'

Update Pi-hole on my Raspberry Pi:

alias upihole='sudo apt-get update -y && sudo apt-get upgrade -y && pihole -up'

Sort file/ folder in a folder by size check sizes:

alias lss='du -sh * | sort -h'

Copy with rsync:

alias cpr='rsync -ah --info=progress2'




Leave a comment