Posts tagged ‘batchfile alias cmd equivalent’

Adding an alias in Windows 7 or making ls = dir in a command prompt

Hey all,

I don’t know about you but I switch between FreeBSD and Windows a lot.  So it drives me crazy when I type the command ls on windows and get the error message.

‘ls’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

So I want this to go away.

I looked for the alias command in Windows and couldn’t find one.  So I made a batch file that solves this.

Windows doesn’t seem to have the equivalent of a .shrc or .cshrc or .bashrc. I couldn’t find a .profile either.  So I decided to go with the batch file route.

Option 1 – Using doskey

I was tipped off to this idea from a comment, which led my mind to the Command Prompt autorun registry I already knew about. But once I wrote the batch file, the parameters were not working, so I searched around and found an example of exactly what I wanted to do here:

  1. Create a batch file called autorun.bat and put it in your home directory:
    My home dir is: c:\users\jared
  2. Add the following to your autorun.bat.
    doskey ls=dir /b $*
    doskey ll=dir $*
    doskey cat=type $*
    doskey ..=cd..
    doskey grep=find "$1" $2
    doskey mv=ren $*
    doskey rm=del $*
  3. Add the following key to the registry:
    Key:  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
    REG_SZ  (String): Autorun
    Value:  %USERPROFILE%\autorun.batOr as a .reg file:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor]

Now whenever you open a command prompt, the aliases will be there.

Option 2 – Creating a batch file as an alias

I created an.bat file that just forwards calls the original file and forwards all parameters passed when making the call.

Here is how it works.

Create a file called ls.bat. Add the following text.


dir $*

Copy this batch file to your C:\Windows\System32 directory. Now you can type in ls on a windows box at the command prompt and it works.

How does this work to make your aliased command?

  1. Name the batch file the name of the alias.  I want to alias ls to dir, so my batch file is named ls.bat.
  2. In the batch file, set the RealCMDPath variable to the proper value, in my case it is dir.

So if you want to alias cp to copy, you do this:

  1. Copy the file and name it cp.bat.
  2. Edit the file and set this line:
    SET RealCMDPath=dir

Now you have an alias for both ls and cp.

Using different versions of msbuild.exe

You can also use this so you don’t have to add a path.

I need to use C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\msbuild.exe but sometimes I want to use C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\msbuild.exe. Both files are named the same. So I can easily use my alias command.

  1. Create two files in C:\Windows\System32: one named msbuild35.bat and one named msbuild40.bat.
  2. Change the line in each file to have the appropriate paths for the RealCMDPath.

Anyway, this is really a useful batch file.