Terminal Command Hacks - Using Aliases

I work in terminal frequently with various operating systems; primarily macOS and Fedora. The more I used it in my day to day work life, the more I found myself entering the same commands, some rather lengthy. Creating aliases for commands is a great way to make my terminal life more efficient. Let’s take a look at a simple example in which making an alias still provided what I needed and helps my work in different operating systems a little more seamless.

The first comes from the simple ll command in Fedora. This lists the contents of the current working directory. Take a look at the following…

fedora-command-hack

I’m currently working in the directory /home/paullyb/Example and when I use the ll command you can see that I have 3 files and 2 folders in that directory. This view also lists the permissions for each as well as the time they were created. If I enter the same ll command from my Mac, this is the result…

terminal-command-hack

This ll command is not universal; however, I used Fedora so frequently, that I found myself naturally entering ll in an attempt to list contents in the same manner. The macOS command to do the same is ls -al. As I found myself entering ll naturally I decided to make it an alias in macOS so that I could enter it and get the result that I wanted. I did this by editing my .bash_profile and adding this line at the end: alias ll=”ls -al”

After editing .bash_profile you need to either restart your terminal session or source the file for the changes to take effect.

terminal-command-hack-2

After the changes were applied, I can now enter the ll command in terminal on my Mac and get the same view as if I entered ls -al.

This is just a simple example, but you can alias any command you need. If you have lengthy commands that you enter frequently, consider creating a short alias for them. This helps save time and reduces the chances of creating a typo when entering them. You’ll also still be able to tab complete the commands. Reach out of you have any questions as you are setting up your aliases!

Protect Your Business Data

We are passionate about helping our customers protect their data. We want you to use Jungle Disk to protect yours. Click on Sign Up to get started. It takes less than 5 minutes!

Sign Up