Tag: Alias

A real help for Linux users with bad memories: Aliaser — take control of your aliases on Linux

 

Important
This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on a blog called The Michigan Telephone Blog, which was written by a friend before he decided to stop blogging. It is reposted with his permission. Comments dated before the year 2013 were originally posted to his blog.
Tux, the Linux penguin
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a program that may be useful for those of you who, like me, sometimes find ourselves at a Linux command prompt trying to recall the syntax of a command we use frequently (because, you know, it would never have occurred to the designers of Linux to actually implement commands with names that have a clear meaning in plain English):

Alias are a great tool to help increment your productivity on the terminal with bash (or any shell program you’re using), but usually we are too lazy to think at what are the most common, or long commands that we use frequently and prepare an alias for them.

And so someone has done a small piece of software to do this job: aliaser

Aliaser helps you identify frequently typed commands and creates bash aliases for them. Aliaser analyses your bash history and helps you identify commands that you use frequently.

Full article (with installation instructions) here.

One thing they forgot to mention is that once you’ve added an alias, it won’t actually be available for use until you log out and then log back in.  Also, you can delete the aliaser file and temporary directory from your /tmp directory once installation is complete.  If you ever want to uninstall aliaser, just remove the three lines added to your .bashrc file, remove the ~/.aliaser directory, and remove the /usr/bin/aliaser file.

One way I find this useful is to make commands I can’t remember into ones that that I can remember.  For example, I did this:

aliaser add processes “ps awx”

The Linux purists are probably rushing to comment that I just turned a six character command into a nine character one.  Yes, BUT, I can actually remember the word “processes”, whereas I cannot remember the options I need to use after “ps” to get the output I want. The designers of Linux seem to not realize that some of us users have really bad memories.  Another use for this is turning arcane Linux commands into the equivalent Windows commands that you’re familiar with.  You could do this:

aliaser add dir “ls -al”

So that when you type “dir”, you get a directory listing similar to what you are used to.

If you can’t even remember the aliases you’ve created (yeah, my memory really is that bad some days), just use aliaser show to see all the aliases you’ve added.

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