I often forget to run a command with sudo, so I find myself often typing sudo !! immediately afterwards.

I tried aliasing this, but bash chokes on the !! part. Is there some way to represent this shortcut within an alias?

  • That's not a wild-card that's a history expansion feature. History expansion is performed before alias expansion so when the alias is expanded the !! are considered literal. – Dennis Williamson Feb 1 '11 at 1:54

AIUI the problem is that history substitutions (!!) are done before alias substitution. I haven't tested this thoroughly, but it looks like fc can be used to get what you want:

alias sudothat='eval "sudo $(fc -ln -1)"'
  • 1
    No need for the eval (plus it may have some undesirable effects). – Dennis Williamson Feb 1 '11 at 1:38
  • Without the eval, it won't parse things like the quoted strings correctly, and with double-quotes around the results of fc it should evaluate everything exactly once -- which is what you want. – Gordon Davisson Feb 1 '11 at 3:47
  • @Dennis Williamson: I've now tested this a bit more thoroughly, and it seems to work as expected (i.e. the same as typing sudo !!) for everything I've tried -- quoted arguments, pipelines, command substitutions, command substitutions containing command substitutions containing pipes... I don't see any way to do this right without an eval. – Gordon Davisson Feb 19 '11 at 15:45

From a colleague at work:

alias sa='sudo `history -p \!\!`'

appears to do the trick

  • 1
    it should be noted that this only works when using single quotes ('). – Torian Feb 1 '11 at 3:42
  • This won't handle quoted arguments properly -- for example, if you use it to rerun echo "a   b" (which prints a   b), it'll print "a b" (as in, the quotes are actually included in the arguments passed to echo, but the spaces between aren't). – Gordon Davisson Feb 1 '11 at 3:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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