Is it possible to use an alias within a custom shortcut?

For example, suppose I have the alias

alias cal="google-chrome --new-window calendar.google.com"

Can I create a custom shortcut that binds Ctrl+Alt+C to cal?

I have tried but it doesn't seem to work.

3 Answers 3


Yes, you can. You just need to ask the command for an interactive shell.

Let's say your alias is:

alias myalias='some cool command here'

Your shortcut command must be:

bash -i -c "myalias"

screenshot of setting up alias in keyboard settings


No, the commands run by keyboard bindings are not parsed via a shell. Your best bet is to create a directory bin in your homedir (mkdir -p ~/bin). Write a script named cal that runs your command, save it in ~/bin and make it executable.

$ mkdir -p ~/bin
$ cat > ~/bin/cal << 'EOF'
exec google-chrome --new-window calendar.google.com
$ chmod +x ~/bin/cal

If you didn't have a bin directory in your homedir already, you need to log out and back in again for it to be added to your PATH. Once that is done, binding a keyboard binding to run "cal" should do what you want.


a quick alternative, in case it helps anyone in the future

to add a "Save Image As.." keyboard shortcut to Chrome as Shift-Ctrl-S

command: bash -c "xdotool click 3 && sleep 0.5 && xdotool key v;"

also, if you're organized enough to keep a separate file with your shortcuts & then sourcing it at the end of ~/.bashrc for example, the following works & can comes in handy ;)

command: bash -c ". /tmp/keyboardShortcutsFcns && tefAliasFcn"

content of the "/tmp/keyboardShortcutsFcns" file from the above example:

# test fcn to be called ( maybe ? ) from a keyboard shortcut tefAliasFcn(){ notify-send "tef alias function called succesfully !"; }

  • This doesn't seem to answer the question.
    – wjandrea
    Oct 27, 2018 at 20:05

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