"If you spend any time working at the shell, you probably use
many GNU utilities. One thing that distinguishes the GNU versions
from the classic Unix versions is that the GNU programs are rife
with additional options. Some of these options are so useful you
may want to create an alias so you can use them all the time
without needing to do all the extra typing.
"A shell alias is a simple way to create your own custom
command. To make your aliases available every time you open a bash
shell, add them to your $HOME/.bashrc file. For other shells, place
them in the associated run control file. Many distributions include
a basic set of aliases for all users. When I start working on a new
system or get a new account, I immediately add my favorite aliases
to my .bashrc..."