How to make a terminal alias for Mac OS X

After looking around for how to make an alias for Mac OS X's terminal/shell I ended up cobbling together my solution from a variety of different (mostly unixy-linuxy) places. So in the name of good documentation, here is the magic formula for the next time I need to set up an alias for happier command line hacking:

  1. First we edit/create a profile. For a normal user do:
    pico /etc/profle
    ...or for root/superuser do:
    pico ~/.profile
  2. Add your alias like so to the file:
    alias aliasname='mycommand /path/path'
    (notice no space between equal sign and ')
  3. Save your changes and close the file
  4. Load/reload your profile with:
    . /etc/profile
    ...or for root/superuser do:
    . ~/.profile
  5. If you are using root/sudo you will need to use sudo -i in order to load the profile upon login (more info about this here).
  6. Done.
21 October, 2009
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