How to create a permanent "alias"?

  • If you create an alias for example:

    alias cls="clear"

    It exists untill you kill terminall session. When you start a new terminal window the alias doesn't exist any more. How to create "permanent" alias, one that exists in every terminal session?

    As for this particular example, ^L (Control-l) clears the screen as well.

  • PHP Guru

    PHP Guru Correct answer

    10 years ago

    You can put such aliases in the ~/.bash_aliases file.

    That file is loaded by ~/.bashrc. On Ubuntu 10.04, the following lines need to be uncommented to enable the use of ~/.bash_aliases. On Ubuntu 11.04 and later, it's already enabled:

    if [ -f ~/.bash_aliases ]; then
        . ~/.bash_aliases

    The aliased command will be available on any new terminal. To have the aliased command on any existing terminal one need to source ~/.bashrc from that terminal as,

    source ~/.bashrc

    +1 I recommend this over editing ~/.bashrc. While indeed useful for a variety of other purposes, ~/.bashrc just has too many elements that could throw off a user who is unfamiliar with the peculiarities of Linux shells.

    example: `echo "cls='clear'" >> ~/.bash_aliases && source ~/.bash_aliases`

    @ændrük I actually find the profusion of shell config files confusing. In my mind it is easier if there is one fairly long config file with all the settings.

    @hobs it must be: `echo "alias cls='clear'" >> ~/.bash_aliases && source ~/.bash_aliases`

    gracias for the correction

    In Ubuntu 14.04, putting the aliases in a `~/.bash_aliases` doesn't seem to work, but there is this line instead: `test -s ~/.alias && . ~/.alias || true`. So it works if I put them in the `~/.alias` file!

    ok so this topic is almost 7 years old now and I can't seem to find any recent answer like this. however it doesnt work for me anymore and asking now if something has changed

  • Add your line into ~/.bashrc or into ~/.profile / ~/.bash_profile for remote logins.

    If you want the command being executed for all users, put it into /etc/bash.bashrc.

    Edit: In the latest versions of Ubuntu, ~/.bashrc automatically sources ~/.bash_aliases, so permanent aliases are best put into this file instead.

    Thanks, it worked when I wrote in ~/.bachrc P.S. There is no ~/.profiles in my home directory.

    .profile might be .bash_profile now

    If the file in question does not exist, you can simply create it.

    Thanks, I was wondering what's the difference between those two. (bashrc and bash_profile)

  • You can add the function below to your .bashrc file.

    function permalias () 
      alias "$*";
      echo alias "$*" >> ~/.bash_aliases

    Then open a new terminal or run source ~/.bashrc in your current terminal. You can now create permanent aliases by using the permalias command, for example permalias cls=clear.

    Usage Note: when I typed `mkalias smount='sudo mount'` the quotes were not litterally echoed, so my solution was `mkalias "smount='sudo mount'"` If you are aliasing a 2+ word command you'll need this too.

    I created a gist for this: . Install permalias for the current user using `{ curl -s | source /dev/stdin ; source ~/.bashrc ; }`

    However, I created permfunction, a more powerful alternative which creates globally installed scripts on the PATH instead. These will be available to all open sessions immediately and are much more flexible. Install using `curl -s | sudo -E bash - ; hash -d permfunction &> /dev/null || true`

  • See for the difference between ~/.bash_profile and ~/.bashrc

    ~/.bashrc is run every time you open a new terminal, whereas ~/.bash_profile isn't. ~/.bashrc contains the following, which includes the ~/.bash_aliases file. This would be the most appropriate place to add your alias.

    # Alias definitions.
    # You may want to put all your additions into a separate file like
    # ~/.bash_aliases, instead of adding them here directly.
    # See /usr/share/doc/bash-doc/examples in the bash-doc package.
    if [ -f ~/.bash_aliases ]; then
        . ~/.bash_aliases
  • Stick that command in the last line of your ~/.bash_profile

    Why not `~/.bashrc`?

    bashrc is preferred, I understand, though not clear on why

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM