Nu’s ability to compose long pipelines allow you a lot of control over your data and system, but it comes at the price of a lot of typing. Ideally, you’d be able to save your well-crafted pipelines to use again and again.

This is where aliases come in.

An alias allows you to create a short name for a block of commands. When the alias is run, it’s like you typed that block of commands out.


> alias ls-names [] { ls | select name }
> ls-names
 #  │ name 
  0 │ 404.html 
  1 │ 
  2 │ Gemfile 
  3 │ Gemfile.lock 
  4 │ LICENSE 


Aliases can also take optional parameters that are passed to the block. Each of these becomes a new variable in the block.

> alias e [msg] { echo $msg }
> e "hello world"
hello world

You can have an arbitrary number of these arguments. When the user doesn’t provide a value, the variable in the block will evaluate to Nothing and be removed.


By default, aliases only apply to the current session. That can be useful for a temporary helper or testing a new alias, but for aliases to be really useful, they need to be persisted. To do so, call the alias with the --save flag (or the -s shorthand). For example:

alias e --save [msg] { echo $msg }

Aliases are stored in the startup config, which you can look at with config get startup. If you get an error, the startup config doesn’t yet exist.

You can also edit aliases directly in the config.toml file, for example using vi:

config path | vi $it