how to create alias in linux with code examples

Linux is an operating system known for its command-line interface. In Linux, an alias is a name assigned to a command or group of commands to make it easier and faster to execute. Creating an alias in Linux can be a useful tool for simplifying complex commands or making frequently used commands easier to remember. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide for creating aliases in Linux with code examples.

Step 1: Open your terminal

To create an alias in Linux, you will need to open up your terminal. You can do this by pressing ‘Ctrl + Alt + T’ in Ubuntu. In other Linux distributions, you may have different keyboard shortcuts or different ways of opening the terminal.

Step 2: Open your .bashrc file

The .bashrc file is a hidden file located in your home directory. You can access it by typing the command ‘nano ~/.bashrc’ in your terminal. This file contains various settings and configurations for your terminal.

Step 3: Locate the section of your .bashrc file for aliases

In your .bashrc file, you will see a section for aliases. If you do not see this section, you can create one by typing the following command:

nano ~/.bashrc
# Aliases
alias ll='ls -alF'

The above code will create an alias for the command ‘ls -alF’. Every time you enter ‘ll’ in your terminal, it will execute the ‘ls -alF’ command. Here ‘-a’ means all files, ‘-l’ means long format and ‘-F’ means displaying file type, i.e., directories end with a ‘/’.

Step 5: Save the file and source it

After you have created your alias, you need to save the .bashrc file and source it. You can save the file by pressing ‘Ctrl + X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Enter’. To source the file, you can either open a new terminal window or type the command:

source ~/.bashrc

Step 6: Test your new alias

Once you have sourced your .bashrc file, you can test your new alias by typing ‘ll’ in your terminal. If everything was successful, your terminal should display the output of the ‘ls -alF’ command.


In conclusion, creating aliases in Linux can save you time and make your terminal experience more efficient. To create an alias, you need to open your terminal, locate the .bashrc file, create a section for aliases, save the file and source it. You can then test your new alias by entering it in the terminal. With this tutorial, we hope you have a good understanding of how to create aliases in Linux with code examples.

here are some additional points that can provide more information on the topics covered in the article:

Creating Aliases in Linux:

  • You can define an alias with any name you want, as long as it doesn't conflict with an existing command. For example, you can define an alias for 'ls' as long as it doesn't clash with the default 'ls' command.

  • Once you have created an alias, it will only be available in the current terminal session. To make the alias permanent, you need to save it in the .bashrc file, which is executed every time you start a new terminal session.

  • If you make changes to the .bashrc file, you can either start a new terminal session or use the 'source' command to apply the changes to the current session.

  • You can edit the .bashrc file using any text editor, but it's recommended to use a command-line editor like 'nano' or 'vim' as they are more lightweight and faster.

  • Aliases can include placeholders or arguments. For example, you can define an alias for 'grep' with a placeholder for the search term, like this:

alias mygrep='grep -rni'

Now you can use 'mygrep' followed by the search term like this:

mygrep 'search term' /path/to/search/in

This will execute the command 'grep -rni search term /path/to/search/in'.

  • You can also chain multiple commands together in an alias. For example:
alias update='sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get autoremove'

This will update your system and remove any unnecessary packages with a single command.

Understanding The .bashrc File:

  • The .bashrc file is executed every time you start a new shell session, whether it's a terminal window or a virtual console.

  • The file contains various configuration parameters and settings for your shell, including path variables, prompt settings, and aliases.

  • You can add or remove commands in the .bashrc file to customize your shell environment. However, you should be careful when modifying the file, as a syntax error or a misplaced command can affect the stability of your system.

  • The .bashrc file is specific to the user and is located in the home directory. You can also create a system-wide bashrc file in the '/etc' directory, which will affect all users on the system.

  • When you modify the .bashrc file, the changes will only be applied to new terminal sessions. If you want to apply the changes to the current session, you can use the 'source' command or restart the terminal.

Overall, understanding how to create aliases in Linux and modify the .bashrc file can greatly enhance your productivity and make your shell experience more efficient. With practice and experimentation, you can create powerful aliases and customize your shell environment to suit your needs.

Popular questions

  1. What is an alias in Linux?
    An alias in Linux is a substitute name for a command or group of commands that makes it easier to execute a complex or frequently used command from the terminal.

  2. How do I create an alias in Linux?
    To create an alias in Linux, you need to open the .bashrc file, add a new section for aliases, define the command alias using the 'alias' keyword, save the changes and execute the .bashrc file to make the changes permanent.

  3. Can I have arguments in an alias in Linux?
    Yes, you can add placeholders or arguments in an alias command in Linux. You can define an alias command like this:

alias myalias='command arg1 arg2'

Here, the 'myalias' is the name of the alias and 'command arg1 arg2' are the commands with arguments.

  1. How do I test an alias in Linux?
    To test an alias in Linux, you can simply enter the alias name in the terminal. If the alias is defined correctly, it should execute the underlying command.

  2. How do I make the alias permanent in Linux?
    To make an alias permanent in Linux, you need to save the changes to the .bashrc file. The .bashrc file is a configuration file that is executed every time you start a new terminal session. You can save the changes using a text editor like nano, vim, or gedit, or by appending the alias command to the .bashrc file using the 'echo' command. After editing the .bashrc file, you need to execute the file using the 'source' command, or by restarting the terminal to apply the changes.



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