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How can I create shorthand versions of long or complex commands on 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.

Use the alias command.

For example, if you put the following line in your .bashrc file:

alias lt='ls -lt|head'

then next time you log in, the command


will list the 10 most recently changed files:  The command   ls -lt    lists files in long format;   the | symbol causes the output from ls -lt to be piped into the head command, which itself shows (by default) the first 10 lines of the data received.

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This is question number 227, which appears in the following categories:

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