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 enable "Show Hidden Files".

A shorcut for that is <Ctrl + H> in XFCE.

Backup your current .bashrc

It is handy 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 type -

cp ~/.bashrc ~/.bashrc.bak

The original .bashrc can be restored with -

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


Any changes made to the .bashrc will have no effect on any currently open Terminal windows. After shutting an open Terminal window down & then restarting it, one can then test out their alias(s).

Or for a quicker way, after having modified the ~/.bashrc run the following command:

source .bashrc

To reload the configuration file.


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 sudo pacman -Syu

This can be aliased in .bashrc with-

alias pacup="sudo pacman -Syu" 

To upgrade packages installed from the AUR via yaourt, the command used is yaourt -Syu --aur

This can be aliased with-

alias aup="yaourt -Syu --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)

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

To edit /etc/fstab

alias fstab="sudo nano /etc/fstab"

To edit /etc/default/grub

alias grub="sudo nano /etc/default/grub"

To update GRUB

To update your grub bootloader using the sudo update-grub

alias grubup="sudo update-grub"


This list is not comprehensive. A user can add many aliases that (s)he commonly uses.


Following is a link to this page's forum counterpart where you can post any related feedback and get more information about aliases: [1]

Credits go to Handy for his .bashrc guide.