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Bash Alias Generator and Manager


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Alf - Your Little Bash Alias Friend

Version Build Status

Alf enhances your bash alias management. It was developed using the Bashly Command Line Framework.


  • Create aliases by using a config file.
  • Create aliases for sub-commands (for example, g s for git status).
  • Synchronize your aliases across hosts or users by uploading your config file to GitHub.
  • Does not alter anything in your system except for creating the ~/.bash_aliases file, which is normally already sourced by your login process.
  • Works with bash and zsh.




Install the alf executable script:

$ curl -Ls | bash

If you prefer to install manually, simply download the alf file, place it somewhere in your path, and make it executable.

Note that alf requires bash 4.0 or higher (brew install bash for mac users).

Using with GitHub-hosted configuration (recommended)

The easiest way to use alf is to create a repository on github, call it alf-conf, and put an alf.conf file in it.

1. Create your own alf-conf repository

2. Connect alf to your repository

$ alf connect <your github user>

3. Save and source your aliases

$ alf save
$ source ~/.bash_aliases  # this normally already exists in your ~/.bashrc

Using without GitHub

If you want to try alf before creating your github repo, use this method to create your bash_aliases file from a local configuration file.

1. Create your alf.conf file

See the sample alf.conf file as a starting point.

2. Save and source your aliases

$ alf save
$ source ~/.bash_aliases

Additional usage patterns

$ alf --help

alf - Your Little Bash Alias Friend

  alf [command]
  alf [command] --help | -h
  alf --version | -v

  connect    Connect to a remote git repository
  download   Perform git pull on the connected repo
  upload     Perform git commit and push on the connected repo
  generate   Generate aliases to stdout
  save       Generate aliases to ~/.bash_aliases
  edit       Open your alf.conf for editing
  which      Show the alias command
  upgrade    Upgrade alf to the latest version
  info       Show all alf related system facts

  --help, -h
    Show this help

  --version, -v
    Show version number

Environment Variables:
    Path to alfrc file
    This file holds the path to the alf-conf repository
    Default: ~/.alfrc

File format reference (alf.conf)


To uninstall alf:

# Run the uninstall script 
$ curl -Ls | bash

# Optionally, remove .alfrc (exists only if you have performed `alf connect`)
$ rm -f ~/.alfrc

# Optionally, remove .bash_aliases (exists only if you have performed `alf save`)
$ rm -f ~/.bash_aliases


Alf was tested on bash and zsh (and might work with other shells).

In all cases, bash version 4.0 or higher must be installed, since alf uses associative arrays which are not available in older versions.

If your shell does not automatically source ~/.bash_aliases on startup, you should add this line to your startup script:

source ~/.bash_aliases

ZSH Users

Oh-My-Zsh users may skip this step.

If you would like to have autocompletion for alf's sub-aliases and you are using zsh, you should enable completion by adding this to your ~/.zshrc (if is it not already there) before sourcing .bash_aliases:

# Load completion functions
autoload -Uz +X compinit && compinit
autoload -Uz +X bashcompinit && bashcompinit

Related Projects

For a similar project, but for command shortcuts on a per-directory basis, see opcode.

Contributing / Support

If you experience any issue, have a question or a suggestion, or if you wish to contribute, feel free to open an issue.