Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

i usually have the following simple alias in my bashrc:

alias g="grep --color=always --exclude-dir=\*.svn\*"

but now i have to work on systems that only have GNU grep 2.5, hence no --exclude-dir argument.

now i need something like this to work:

alias g="grep --color=always $1 $2 | grep -v .svn"

but of course, the arguments get appended to the end of the alias. $1 and $2 are parsed when the alias is created not when it's called, even with strong quotes.

Can i solve that without resorting to extra scripts or functions?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

No, you can't. As the bash manual states:

There is no mechanism for using arguments in the replacement text, as in `csh'. If arguments are needed, a shell function should be used (*note Shell Functions::).

Functions are the right thing for this, and can be as easy to write as an alias. In this case, it could be

function g () { grep --color=always "$1" "$2" | grep -v .svn ; }
share|improve this answer
2  
+1 Safer to quote the positional params. –  glenn jackman Nov 2 '12 at 20:14
    
Very true. Edited to correct that. –  Alan Shutko Nov 2 '12 at 20:32

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.