Aliases in .bashrc

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What's .bashrc? What is an alias?

  • .bashrc is the configuration file for bash, a linux shell/command interpreter.
  • An alias is a substitute for a (complete) command. It can be thought of as a shortcut.
  • .bashrc is found in the home folder of a user ( ~ ) . It is a hidden file, to see it show hidden files in your file manager or use ls -a

Backup your current .bashrc

It can be useful to backup the ~/.bashrc before editing it, as it allows one to be able to easily recover from the unexpected. To make a backup of your current .bashrc . Open a terminal and execute

user $ cp ~/.bashrc ~/.bashrc.bak

The original .bashrc can be restored with by executing

user $ cp -i ~/.bashrc.bak ~/.bashrc

Note

Any changes made to the .bashrc will have no effect on any currently open terminal windows. To test newly updated changes in your .bashrc open a new terminal or use the command:

user $ source .bashrc

Aliases Examples

Aliases can turn a complex command string into a simple custom made command that one can type in the Terminal. The following can be added to the .bashrc file.

For updating your system

To upgrade the system via pacman, the command used is

user $ sudo pacman -Syu

This can be aliased in .bashrc with

~/.bashrc
...
alias pacup="sudo pacman -Syu"
...

To upgrade packages installed from the AUR via pamac, the command used is

user $ pamac upgrade --aur

This can be aliased with

~/.bashrc
...
alias aup="pamac upgrade --aur"
...

For editing commonly used files

To edit .bashrc itself and automatically reload bash configuration file (so that changes made to .bashrc can be implemented in current terminal session)

~/.bashrc
...
alias bashrc="nano ~/.bashrc && source ~/.bashrc"
...

To edit /etc/fstab

~/.bashrc
...
alias fstab="sudo nano /etc/fstab"
...

To edit /etc/default/grub

~/.bashrc
...
alias grub="sudo nano /etc/default/grub"
...

To update GRUB

To update your grub bootloader using the sudo update-grub

~/.bashrc
...
alias grubup="sudo update-grub"
...

Conclusion

This list is not comprehensive. Almost anything that is commonly used can be shortened with an alias

See Also

Bash documentation