You Should Use
Simple zsh plugin that reminds you that you should use one of your existing aliases for a command you just typed.
Also supports detection of global and git aliases.
- Message Position
- Displaying Results
- Customising Messages
- Hardcore Mode
- Check your Alias usage
- Permanently Disabling Aliases
- Temporarily Disabling Messages
- Running Tests
You can also view the CHANGELOG for a history of changes.
You dont need to do anything. Once it's installed,
zsh-you-should-use will let you know if you wrote a command with an
you-should-use also detects global aliases:
and Git aliases:
you-should-use officially supports zsh versions 5.1 onwards.
It is possible the plugin might work on even older versions. However they would not have been tested as part of the CI test process.
Add one of the following to your
.zshrc file depending on your
antigen bundle "MichaelAquilina/zsh-you-should-use"
zgen load "MichaelAquilina/zsh-you-should-use"
Copy this repository to
is the directory with custom plugins of oh-my-zsh (read more):
git clone https://github.com/MichaelAquilina/zsh-you-should-use.git $ZSH_CUSTOM/plugins/you-should-use
Then add this line to your
.zshrc. Make sure it is before the line
zsh-you-should-use (AUR) package:
yaourt -S zsh-you-should-use
Then add this line to your
you-should-use will display its reminder message before
a command has executed. However, you can choose to display the mesasge after a
command has executed by setting the value of
you-should-use will display the best match from any
matching aliases found. However, you can change this behaviour so that
it displays all matches found by setting the value of
- To only display best match (default):
- To display all matches:
By default, the following message is displayed in bold when an alias is found:
Found existing %alias_type for "%command". You should use: "%alias"
Where the following variables represent:
%alias_type- the type of alias detected (alias, git alias, global alias)
%command- the command that was typed by the user
%alias- the matching alias that was found
This default message can be customised by setting the
YSU_MESSAGE_FORMAT environment variable.
If for example, you wish to display your own custom message in red, you can add the
following to your
export YSU_MESSAGE_FORMAT="$(tput setaf 1)Hey! I found this %alias_type for %command: %alias$(tput sgr0)"
$(tput setaf 1) generates the escape code terminals use for red foreground text.
$(tput sgr0) sets
the text back to a normal color.
You can read more about how you can use tput and terminal escape codes here: http://wiki.bash-hackers.org/scripting/terminalcodes
For the brave and adventerous only
You can enable Hardcore mode to enforce the use of aliases. Enabling this will cause zsh to refuse to execute commands you have entered if an alternative alias for it exists. This is a handy way of forcing you to use your aliases and help you turn those aliases into muscle memory.
Enable hardcore mode by setting the variable
YSU_HARDCORE to 1.
Now if you type a command that has an alias defined and you didnt use it, zsh will refuse to execute that command:
$ export YSU_HARDCORE=1 $ ls -lh Found existing alias for "ls -lh". You should use: "ll" You Should Use hardcore mode enabled. Use your aliases! $ ll total 8.0K -rw-r--r-- 1 michael users 2.4K Jun 19 20:46 README.md -rw-r--r-- 1 michael users 650 Jun 19 20:42 you-should-use.plugin.zsh
Check your Alias usage
It's often useful to check how often we use our aliases so that we have an idea of which ones we
could probably get rid of (or remind ourselves of them if we forgot).
a convenience function
check_alias_usage which you can run to analyse your alias usage.
$ check_alias_usage 924: curl='curl --silent' 652: gco='git checkout' 199: json='jq '.' -C' 157: less='less -R' 100: ll='ls -lh --group-directories-first' 93: vim='nvim' 76: watch='watch ' 61: v='vim' 60: md='mkdir' 39: gr='git rebase' 38: dc='docker-compose' 35: ls='ls --color=auto' 33: h='history' 28: dcr='docker-compose
check_alias_usage analyses your history to generate this data for you. If your history is disabled
or if you limit your history to a certain amount of time, then the alias report generated will be a reflection
of the limited data available.
Optionally, you can limit how far
check_alias_usage looks back in history by providing an optional numeric
parameter. This parameter specifies how many entries in the history to check when generating the report.
In the example below, history is limited to the last 200 entries when generating the alias report.
$ check_alias_usage 200 9: h='history' 3: gpoh='git push -u origin HEAD' 3: gco='git checkout' 2: v='vim' 2: ll='ls -lh --group-directories-first' 2: gpohw='gpoh && git web --pull-request' 2: gc='git commit' 2: gap='git add -p' 2: ap='ansible-playbook' 1: xopen='GDK_BACKEND=wayland xdg-open' 1: t='tig' 1: gw='git web' 1: gs='git status'
Permanently Disabling Aliases
You can permanently disable aliases by including them in the
YSU_IGNORED_ALIASES variable (which is an array):
$ ls -l Hint: alias "ll" exists for "ls -l" $ export YSU_IGNORED_ALIASES=("g" "ll") $ ls -l
Temporarily Disabling Messages
You can temporarily disable you should use by running the command
When you want to re-enable messages, run the command
Pull requests and Feedback are welcome!
I have tried to cater for as many use cases that I can think of. However, they are naturally tailored to to my own workflow and I could be missing many others.
Because of this if there is a specific use case that does not work as you would expect or if you have any suggestions to how the plugin should behave, feel free to open an issue
Install zunit. Run
zunit in the root
directory of the repo.
$ zunit Launching ZUnit ZUnit: 0.8.2 ZSH: zsh 5.3.1 (x86_64-suse-linux-gnu) ✔ ysu message correct output ✔ ysu global message correct output ✔ ysu git message correct output
NOTE: It is required that you use a minimum zunit version of 0.8.2
NOTE: The tests that run move your git configuration to a temporary
location during the test process so that your user configuration does
not interfere with tests. This will be restored at the end of each test
so there is no risk in losing your settings. If for some strange reason
zunit crashes or does not restore your git configuration automatically,
all you need to do is run
mv ~/.gitconfig.bak ~/.gitconfig