How To Create An Alias In El Capitan Bash Profile


Creating an alias in the El Capitan Bash profile is a useful way to simplify and optimize your command line workflow. I remember when I first learned how to do this, it really made a difference in how I interacted with the terminal. So, let’s dive into the details of how to create an alias in the El Capitan Bash profile.

Understanding Aliases

Before we start, let’s understand what aliases are. An alias is a way to create shortcuts for longer commands or to customize our command line experience. This can be incredibly helpful for long and complex commands that we use frequently.

Locating the Bash Profile

In El Capitan, the Bash profile file is typically located at ~/.bash_profile. This is the file where we can define our aliases and customize our Bash environment.

Creating an Alias

To create an alias, open the Terminal and navigate to your home directory. Then, open the .bash_profile file using a text editor like vi or nano.

Inside the file, you can define your alias using the following syntax:

alias [alias_name]='[command_to_alias]'

For example, let’s say I want to create an alias for listing the contents of a directory with additional details. I could use the following alias:

alias lsa='ls -al'

After adding your aliases, save the file and close the text editor.

Reloading the Bash Profile

Once the aliases are defined, it’s important to reload the Bash profile to apply the changes. This can be done by either opening a new Terminal window or by running the following command:

source ~/.bash_profile

Verifying the Alias

To verify that the alias has been created successfully, simply type the alias name in the terminal and press Enter. In our example, typing lsa should produce the same output as ls -al.


Creating aliases in the El Capitan Bash profile can greatly enhance your productivity within the command line environment. By customizing our workflow with aliases, we can save time and effort on repetitive tasks, and ultimately improve our overall experience with the terminal.