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How can I avoid retyping long commands in the Unix system?

The commands described below need to be entered while logged in to the Unix server.   Normally you'll see a prompt ending with $ when the command interpreter (or shell) is ready for another command.

You can normally recall previous shell commands (even commands given in earlier login sessions) by using the up-arrow and down-arrow cursor keys. This means you need only type a long command once per session.

You can also define aliases in the following way.

alias ltx='latex mydescriptivefilename'

You can then give the command :-


which will then execute the command

latex mydescriptivefilename

You can make this permanent by putting the alias command in your .bashrc file if you are using bash, the "Bourne-again Shell" which is standard on the IT Services Unix system.  Other shells will be similar but with varying command syntax for the alias command.

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This is question number 181, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Andy Clews on 27 July 2001 and last updated by Andy Clews on 4 August 2015