I have an alias for youtube_dl which adds some arguments in my .bashrc file. I want to run this in a separate terminal similar to how it is done here. The problem is that this takes a string as input.

my current alias:

alias youtube-dl="youtube-dl -ci --restrict-filenames -o '%(title)s.%(ext)s'"

how I want the new alias to look like:

alias youtube-dl='gnome-terminal -e "youtube-dl -ci --restrict-filenames -o '%(title)s.%(ext)s'"'

The problem is, however, that now the '-strings are interpreted as two separate strings. In addition, I am now unable to add the url as an argument. How do I circumvent this?

1 Answer 1


You could mess around with quotes and escaping, but I prefer to look for ways to reduce the quoting levels. For example, you could use gnome-terminal -x instead:

-e, --command=STRING
         Execute the argument to this option inside the terminal.

-x, --execute
         Execute  the  remainder  of  the  command  line  inside   the


gnome-terminal -e "youtube-dl -ci --restrict-filenames -o '%(title)s.%(ext)s'"


gnome-terminal -x youtube-dl -ci --restrict-filenames -o '%(title)s.%(ext)s'

Shaving off one layer of quotes. And the alias would be:

alias youtube-dl='gnome-terminal -x youtube-dl -ci --restrict-filenames -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s"'

Or you could use a function:

    gnome-terminal -x youtube-dl -ci --restrict-filenames -o '%(title)s.%(ext)s' "$@"
  • +1 for the function. That was my first thought, using a function.
    – Parto
    Apr 7, 2016 at 11:26
  • Should take advantage of export -f youtube-dl after the function definition. Apr 7, 2016 at 11:29

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