This subchapter looks at alias, a UNIX (and Linux) command.
alias is used to create short names for long strings of commonly performed commands, scripts, and functions, and their combinations.
alias is a builtin command in bash and csh. There is also an external utility with the same name and functionality.
You can use the alias command to modify the rm so that it always displays an interactive query before deleting a file.
$ alias rm="rm -i"
Unfortunately, this alias can cause some scripts to fail (possibly including system scripts that were provided with your distribution). Any scripts that rely on the unmodified version of an aliased rm are likely to fail or produce strange results because of your alias.
A better alternative is to use an alias to a different, non-conflicting name. In this case, del might be appropriate.
$ alias del="rm -i"
If you have set an alias on a command or utility, you can always run the raw unmodified command or utility by typing the absolute directory path to the command. For example, if you set an alias to have ls always show hidden files, you can still run the regular ls by typing its full path name.
$ alias ls="ls -a" #modify the ls command $ /bin/ls #run the raw ls command
Some system administrators always type out the complete path name for a command when using the root or superuser account to help prevent mistakes.
In June 2009, Ken Milberg named this command as one of the Top 50 universal UNIX commands at this web page Top 50 Universal INIX commands. Note that this web page requires agreeing to be spammed before you can read it.
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