PowerShell: Listing Alias, Finding Command's Alias

By Xah Lee. Date: ,

PowerShell commands are usually long. However, PowerShell has aliases. For example, “Get-ChildItem” is the same as “gci” or “dir”.

Working in PowerShell, you'll find yourself needing to know:

List All Aliases

# show existing aliases

# list all aliases ending in r
Get-Alias *r

(“Get-Alias” as alias of “gal”)

Find Fullname

# find the cmdlet of alias “dir”
Get-Alias dir

# or, simply use help
help dir

List a Cmdlet's Aliases

# list aliases of Get-Childitem
Get-Alias -definition get-childitem

Note that the above won't return functions. For example, typing “Get-Alias” will list “help” as a alias for “Get-Help”. However, Get-Alias -definition Get-Help will return a error. This is because, technically, “help” is the name of a function, not alias.

List Functions

# list all functions
Get-ChildItem function:*

Sample output:

CommandType     Name                 Definition
-----------     ----                 ----------
Function        prompt               $(if (test-path variable:/PS...
Function        TabExpansion         ...
Function        Clear-Host           $space = New-Object System.M...
Function        more                 param([string[]]$paths)...
Function        help                 ...
Function        mkdir                ...
Function        Enable-PSRemoting    ...
Function        Disable-PSRemoting   ...
Function        A:                   Set-Location A:
Function        B:                   Set-Location B:
Function        C:                   Set-Location C:
Function        D:                   Set-Location D:
Function        E:                   Set-Location E:
Function        F:                   Set-Location F:
Function        cd..                 Set-Location ..
Function        cd\                  Set-Location \                 

List Commands

PowerShell has over 200 cmdlets and functions. Often, you need to know if there's a command that does what you want. You can search them by Get-Command.

# list all cmdlets whose name has z
Get-Command *z*

# list all aliases whose name starts with s
Get-Command -commandtype alias s*