Custom command aliases

Aliases provide a way to abbreviate system commands and add default arguments to commonly used commands.

Aliases are described in user-config files (see neuro help user-config for details).

~/.neuro/user.toml is used for global aliases, and .neuro.toml can be used for saving project-specific aliases. Project aliases overrides global ones if the same alias name exists in both configuration files.

There are two types of aliases: internal and external. Internal aliases execute built-in neuro commands, and external aliases execute system OS commands.

Internal aliases

Internal aliases are used for running existing neuro CLI commands under a different name and with optional overriden defaults (passed predefined command line options and arguments).

For example, the following alias definition creates a neuro lsl command that executes neuro storage ls -hl to list the storage's content using a long output mode with human-readable file sizes.

  cmd = "ls -l --human-readable"
  help = "List directory contents in a long mode.

Available configuration arguments:

  • [alias.lsl]: Defines a subgroup for a named alias,

                 `lsl` in this case.
  • cmd: The command to execute with provided overridden options,

    this key is mandatory.

    The cmd key in the alias section implies internal alias mode.

  • help: Help string displayed by the neuro lsl --help

    command (optional).

Internal aliases accept additional command line options and agruments, and pass them to the underlying command as is.

For example, neuro lsl storage:directory works as neuro ls -l --human-readable storage:directory

External aliases

External aliases spawn a subprocess with passing default options and arguments. All user-provided arguments are passed to the underlying program as well.

For example, the following configuration defines neuro du command as an alias for the system du --human-readable command with an additional ability to specify a directory for analysis.

  exec = "du"
  args = "[FILE]..."
  options = [
    "-h, --human-readable   print sizes in powers of 1024 (e.g., 1024M)",
    "-d, --max-depth=N  max recursion level for subdirectories lookup",
  help = '''
    Summarize disk usage of the set of files,
    recursively for directories.

Available configuration arguments:

  • [alias.du]: Defines a subgroup for a named alias,

    du in this case.

  • exec: External command to execute, this key is mandatory.

    The exec key in the alias section implies external alias mode.

  • args: Positional argumentss accepted by the alias,

    the format is described below (optional).

  • options: Options and flags accepted by the alias,

    the format is described below (optional).

  • help: Help string displayed by neuro du --help

    command (optional),

args is a string with a sequence of arguments, e.g. DIR SRC... [DST]

If an argument is enclosed in square brackets, it's optional ([FILE]). If an argument ends with an ellipsis, this argument accepts multiple values (SRC...)

options is a list of strings specifying various options.

Each string describes a single option. The option definitions should be separated from the option descriptions (help) by two or more spaces.

An option definition can contain:

  • Short name (-h)

  • Long name (--human-readable)

  • Indication of the required value type (-d, --max-depth=N).

    If the required value indicator (=NAME) is absent,

    the option will be considered a boolean flag.

exec defines an external system command to execute.

The command is spawned in a subprocess. Neuro CLI waits for the subprocess to be finished, and then returns the exit code to the outer caller.

The parameter may specify an executable file along with some options. For example, exec = "du --human-readable" enforces human-readable mode for the du command.

exec can be used in simplified and pattern mode.

Pattern mode

In pattern mode, the system command is used along with substitutions. For example, exec = "du {human_readable} {max_depth} {file}". Substitution is enclosed in curly brackets and represents a variable name to expand, e.g. {file}.

It's expanded with an option or positional argument specified by args or options. The substitution name is automatically lowercased, and dashes (-) are replaced with underscores (_). For example, args = "ARG-NAME" matches to {arg_name}.

If a substitution corresponds to an optional parameter not provided by the user, this substitution will be expanded to an empty string.

If a substitution corresponds to multiple values, all of them are used. For example, neuro du folder1 folder2 expands to du folder1 folder2 since the [FILE]... argument matches to folder1 folder2 values.

Options are expanded using the longest form if provided, e.g. neuro du -h is expanded to du --human-readable.

Options with values are expanded as well, e.g. neuro du -d 1 is expanded to du --max-depth 1. neuro du --max-depth 1 matches to the same command.

Simplified mode

In simplified mode, the exec value does not contain any substitutions. In this case, all parsed options and args are appended to the executed command automatically if provided. For example, exec = "du" is expanded to exec = "du {human_readable} {max_depth} {file}"

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