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I am trying to alias the command sudo shutdown but in my .profile I can't just do alias "sudo shutdown"="my command". Is there another way to alias multi-worded commands in Unix?

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migrated from Feb 11 '11 at 2:10

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I tried out all of these techniques and they all worked! Thanks everyone! – agentbanks217 Feb 10 '11 at 21:57
Try also the solution in my edit, as I realised that you really intended to have 'sudo shutdown' as an alias a little too late. – Costi Ciudatu Feb 10 '11 at 22:11
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The alias name is on the left hand side, so you can have any multiworded command in the right:

alias my_alias="multi worded command"

EDIT: However, if you really want to have aliases names of multiple words -- in your example, if you really want "sudo shutdown" to be the alias, you can work around this by using the following alias feature (in the bash manual):

A trailing space in  value causes the next word to be checked for
alias substitution when the alias is expanded.

So, if you still want to use sudo with other commands but not with shutdown and if you can afford to alias shutdown to something else, you can have:

alias sudo='sudo '
alias shutdown="echo nope"

Now, sudo anything_else will work as expected (assuming you don't have an alias for anything_else, but if you have it wouldn't have worked before either); but sudo shutdown will be equivalent to sudo echo nope and it'll print that string.

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Use a function:

foo() { if [ "$1" = "bar" ]; then echo "doing something..."; fi; }
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You can use a dash as a work around: alias sudo-shutdown="your command"

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I prefer to just put a executable file in /usr/local/bin (be sure that is in your path) that then contains the commands I wish to run. The name of the script would be the command that comes up. be sure to chmod +x /usr/local/bin/your_script.

So the script could be called 'shutdown'

The contents of the file shutdown would be:

sudo shutdown

That opens a whole new world. You could then have a couple commands or even a script:

#!/usr/bin/env python
print "hi"
# more stuff. ....
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