Shell Scripting: Using the Alias Command with Examples

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Shell scripting is a powerful tool for automating tasks, and the alias command is an essential component that can enhance your scripting experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of aliases and show you how to use them effectively in your shell scripts. We’ll provide examples and detailed explanations to help you become proficient in leveraging aliases for a more efficient and productive scripting experience.

What is the Alias Command?

The alias command in a shell script allows you to create custom shortcuts for longer or frequently used commands. These aliases can simplify complex tasks and make your scripts more concise and readable.

Basic Syntax of the Alias Command

The basic syntax of the alias command is as follows:

alias alias_name='command_to_be_aliased'

Here’s an example:

alias ll='ls -alF'

In this example, the alias ‘ll’ is created for the ‘ls -alF’ command. Now, whenever you type ‘ll’ in your script or terminal, it will execute ‘ls -alF’ as if you had typed the full command.

Creating Aliases in Shell Scripts

To create aliases within a shell script, simply add the alias commands to your script file. Let’s create a simple script called with some aliases:

# Creating aliases
alias ll='ls -alF'
alias grep='grep --color=auto'

In this script, we’ve created two aliases: ‘ll’ for ‘ls -alF’ and ‘grep’ with the ‘–color=auto’ option.

Executing Shell Script with Aliases

To execute a shell script with aliases, you need to make sure the script is executable. You can do this with the chmod command:

chmod +x

Now, you can run your script:


The aliases you defined in the script will be available for the duration of that script’s execution.

Managing Aliases

You can view a list of defined aliases in your current shell session by simply typing:


To remove an alias, use the unalias command followed by the alias name:

unalias ll

Practical Examples

Example 1: Simplifying Frequent Commands

Imagine you frequently need to check the disk space on your system using ‘df -h.’ You can create an alias in your script like this:

alias diskspace='df -h'

Now, whenever you run diskspace, it will display the disk space usage.

Example 2: Customizing Your Command Line Experience

You can use aliases to customize your command line. For instance, if you want to have a colorful ‘ls’ output by default, you can create an alias like this:

alias ls='ls --color=auto'

Now, every time you use ‘ls,’ it will display a colorized output.

Author: user