Windows – Create an alias in Windows XP

command linewindows xp

Back in school, I used to have a .login file along the lines of

alias ll = ls -l  
alias dir = ls -Fhl  
alias web = cd ~/public/public_www/development  

I'd like to do that sort of thing with my XP box here at work, but most of the resources I've found online seem fairly complicated and heavy-duty. Is there a way to do this that doesn't involve mucking about in the registry or running a large batch file?

My original reason for asking this was that I only need the command line for one command in one specific folder, and I wanted to be able to get to that folder quickly when I launched the command line. But the accepted answer for this question is so good that I decided to ask about my original issue as a separate question: Change to default start folder for Windows command prompt.

Best Answer

  • Not many people seem to know about it, but you can use the doskey built-in macro tool, the only issue is that it doesn't save. There are many ways to work around this though.


    doskey ls=dir

    ls will now do a directory listing just like dir would.

    If you want to use arguments with the commands, use this syntax:

    doskey d=dir $*

    As for the workaround to make them save:

    • save all aliases to a file in this format:
    doskey ls=dir
    doskey ..=cd ..

    and place it in one of the directories in your path. Name it something short like a.cmd, so when you open cmd you can type a to load your aliases.

    If typing an a and pressing Enter seems too much work, throw this into your AutoHotkey script:

    WinWaitActive, C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe
    Send {a}{Enter}

    Loading aliases automatically:

    You can change all shortcuts to cmd to point to %SystemRoot%\system32\cmd.exe /K C:\path\to\aliases.cmd, replacing C:\path\to\aliases.cmd with the location of your aliases file. If you typically run it from the run box, you can:

    • Rename the cmd executable to cmd2.exe for example, and replace it with a script or another executable which launches the above command (I wouldn't really recommend this method as a lot of apps depend on cmd)
    • Make a batch script and call it cmda (cmd with aliases) for example. Have it launch the above command and put this batch script somewhere in your path.
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