I know that in bash you can set up aliases in a .bash_aliases file so that the command you type doesnt need to be a command stored in the binaries in the system. Is there any way I can get aliases into zsh?


I go back and forth between bash and zsh, and use the same .aliases file for both. They share the same basic alias syntax, so you can create a .aliases file and link it to .bashrc and .zshrc:


if [ -f ~/.aliases ]; then
    . ~/.aliases


source $HOME/.aliases

FWIW this can also be done with environment variable declarations, in a separate .env file.

  • 2
    I just added source ~/ .bash_aliases to the end of .zshrc, so all aliases are working both on bash and zsh
    – talsibony
    Feb 3 '17 at 9:04
  • @talsibony like this: ~/ .bash_aliases I need little help please if you are there, respond
    – lewis4u
    Apr 13 '17 at 11:26
  • @lewis4u There should not be a space between ~/ and .bash_aliases. It should be exactly ~/.bash_aliases.
    – Kurtosis
    Jun 16 '17 at 20:54
  • 2
    Your links are broken..
    – Ilan.b
    Aug 19 '19 at 8:48
  • Both links are broken. Wouldn't both the same as [ -r "$HOME/.aliases" ] && source "$HOME/.aliases"? (nice doc) Apr 7 '20 at 16:09

You can do it by the "alias" command with this syntax:

alias [ -gmrL ] [ name[=value] ... ]

For "gmrL" switches, see this guide, which is my reference.
For each name, with no value, zsh will print the name and what it is aliased to previously. With no arguments at all, alias prints the values of ALL defined aliases.

To define one or more aliases, simply enter:

alias name1=value1 name2=value2 ... nameX=valueX

For each name with a corresponding value, zsh defines an alias with that value. For further info, check out that link. ;-)

  • That document answered my question exactly. Thanks much.
    – Thomas Ward
    Mar 21 '11 at 3:22
  • That link is down. Apr 14 '14 at 10:52
  • updated the link.
    – sazary
    Apr 14 '14 at 17:54
  • 11
    this answer misses the part about where to persist the aliases, Kurtosis answer includes it (.zshrc).
    – Felix
    Jul 31 '14 at 9:06
  • 6
    I use ~/.profile to store all aliases I care about and source ~/.profile it from ~/.zshrc.
    – danba
    Nov 12 '18 at 20:00

You generally put them in ~/.zshenv. But many programs use /bin/sh (usually bash) instead of $SHELL to execute shell commands, so for it to work everywhere you will probably need to put the bash equivalent of the alias into ~/.bash_aliases anyway.

  • This is for my user account only, so this does not need to be copied to the ~/.bash_aliases file.
    – Thomas Ward
    Mar 20 '11 at 18:02
  • 1
    According to this, aliases should go in .zshrc because .zshenv is "Read every time" -- "this file is read even when Zsh is launched to run a single command."
    – AWhitford
    Oct 16 '20 at 22:17


add this line at the bottom of the file (assuming that your aliases located in ~/.profile):

source ~/.profile

I was trying some things and I found a way to use my aliases created in bash into zsh, only I had to copy these lines from bashrc:

if [-f ~ / .bash_aliases]; then
. ~ / .bash_aliases

I wrote this and put it in my ~/.bashrc a long time ago. I didn't put all that can be done with saving your settings, but just use your imagination!

Note: If you're updating ~/.bash_aliases then update ~/.oh-my-zsh/.zsh_aliases too.

Saves your ~/.bash_history, ~/.bashrc, ~/.bash_aliases and ~/.profile in Dropbox. First make a file named after your files in the Dropbox folder. That way no matter where you edit it, if it's edited? It's up-to-date on all you devices. Add the following lines in your ~/.bashrc :

    DBPATH=${HOME}"/Dropbox"; ## Path to your DropBox Folder
if [ -d "${DBPATH}" ] 
    BA="/.bash_aliases" ## Path to your .bash_aliases File
if [ ${HOME}"${BA}" -nt ${DBPATH}"${BA}" ] 
    cat ${HOME}"${BA}" > ${DBPATH}"${BA}" 2>/dev/null;
# If updating ~/.bash_aliases then update ~/.oh-my-zsh/.zsh_aliases Too
    cat ${HOME}"${BA}" > ${ZSH}"/.zsh_aliases" 2>/dev/null;

    BRC="/.bashrc"  ## Path to your .bashrc File
if [ ${HOME}"${BRC}" -nt ${DBPATH}"${BRC}" ] 
    cat ${HOME}"${BRC}" > ${DBPATH}"${BRC}" 2>/dev/null;
    BPF="/.profile" ## Path to your bash .profile File
if [ ${HOME}"${BPF}" -nt ${DBPATH}"${BPF}" ] 
    cat ${HOME}"${BPF}" > ${DBPATH}"${BPF}" 2>/dev/null;

    BHT="/.bash_history"    ## Path to your .bash_history File
if [ ${HOME}"${BHT}" -nt ${DBPATH}"${BHT}" ] 
    cat ${HOME}"${BHT}" > ${DBPATH}"${BHT}" 2>/dev/null;
## First make a file named after your files in the Dropbox folder
# That way no matter where you edit konsole bookmarks, If it's edited? 
# It's up-to-date on all Your devices.
if [ ${HLS}"${KBM}" -nt ${DBPATH}"${KBM}" ] 
        cat ${HLS}"${KBM}" > ${DBPATH}"${KBM}" 2>/dev/null;
  • your solution is for Bash, not ZSH. ZSH has its own RC file
    – Thomas Ward
    Oct 26 at 12:33

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