Aliases to streamline tasks in Bash

Aliases, as the name suggests, are used to call a command by another name. The command to which an alias is applied will work as if it had been called directly. For example, if I want to go to the parent directory with the command .., I only have to create an alias from the terminal with the following command: alias ..='cd ...'.

You probably already have several aliases created and don't know it. If you run alias, you will see the aliases you have already defined. These aliases are defined in the .bashrc file, where you can add your own aliases (remember to reload the Bash configuration after adding them so that you can start using them without restarting the computer). But if you want to add a lot of them and you want to distinguish which ones are yours, it is advisable to have them in a separate file.

In the .bashrc file you will probably find these lines or some similar ones:

# 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

This means that every time you start Bash, it loads the aliases found in the ~/.bash_aliases file if it exists. If you don't have this file yet, create it and add some aliases to help you in your day-to-day work. They will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Here are some useful aliases:

alias ....='cd ../../..'
alias ...='cd ../..'
alias ..='cd ..'
alias install='sudo apt-get install'
alias search='apt-cache search'
alias update='sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade'

I have a repository at with all my aliases, take a look at it and copy the ones you find useful.


xdg-open is a very interesting command. With it we can open any program or URL from the command line. If I were to run xdg-open, it would open the home page of this website with my default browser, and then I could execute another command. One disadvantage is that we can only pass one argument to it, so to open two web pages we would have to run xdg-open twice.