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A friend who owned my current mac before me (I bought it from him) created a lot of alias commands. Is there a way of me being able to list all defined aliases and the command that is associated with them?

And if so, am I able to edit them or should I just remove them using unalias and recreate them?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 24 down vote accepted

All you need to do is type alias at the prompt and any active aliases will be listed.

Aliases are usually loaded at initialization of your shell so look in .bash_profile or .bashrc in your home directory.

unalias will only work for your current session. Unless you find where it is defined and loaded, it will be loaded again when you start a new Terminal session.

~/.bashrc gets run for both login and non-login shells, ~/.bash_profile only gets run for login shells.

As per comment from Chris Page:

You should put most of your customizations (including aliases) in ~/.bashrc and have ~/.bash_profile run ~/.bashrc, so they apply to both login (~/.bash_profile) and non-login (~/.bashrc) shells.

i.e. - put this at the end of ~/.bash_profile:

if [ -f "$HOME/.bashrc" ] ; then
  source $HOME/.bashrc

This will include ~/.bashrc for login shells

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good stuff thanks - I didn't know that – MattStacey Sep 18 '11 at 19:01
I recommend you put most of your customizations in ~/.bashrc and have ~/.bash_profile run ~/.bashrc, so they apply to both login (~/.bash_profile) and non-login (~/.bashrc) shells. e.g., put this in ~/.bash_profile: if [ -f "$HOME"/.bashrc ]; then . "$HOME"/.bashrc fi – Chris Page Sep 26 '11 at 13:12

You should have a look in








Which are plausible startup files for your shell (that I assumed is bash).

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".bashrc" is the correct name of the file. – Chris Page Sep 26 '11 at 13:10
You're right, I don't why I wrote it like that. – Cedric H. Sep 26 '11 at 13:29
I would have just edited it without comment, but StackExchange wouldn't let me make a one-character edit. – Chris Page Sep 26 '11 at 13:31
Also check in the system-wide /etc/bashrc – EmmEff Sep 26 '11 at 19:09

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