Over the years I have taught many people about the alias command in Cisco IOS. Being able to create shortcuts is pretty awesome when you work in CLI quite a bit, but there’s a problem with the alias command. The alias command isn’t very portable. Let’s say I have a set of alias commands on one router, and I move to another router’s CLI. Unless I’ve preconfigured the alias command on that new router the shorcuts aren’t available. So here’s how to make it portable: Textexpander.
Using TextExpander For CLI Productivity
I personally don’t use the alias command anymore, but rather I use Textexpander snippets. Here’s an example of how I use them. The video is only a few seconds, but you should get the idea. In short you assign a shortcut to an IOS command that you want expanded. I use .. to precede my shortcuts and have few issues with this method.
Sky Is The Limit
Now let’s take this a step further. If you work on Juniper routers and switches but have to occasionally access Cisco routers and switches, you could configure TextExpander to issue the Cisco IOS command when you type the Juniper command. Then if you lock the TextExpander snippet to a specific terminal this would eliminate any issues if wrongful expansion. For example, if you only use Terminal to access the Cisco devices but SecureCRT for everything else, you could lock the TextExpander snippets to only expand in terminal so they don’t expand when you’re in a SecureCRT on a Juniper switch.
This is only scratching the surface of what you can do with TextExpander. Have any tips of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments of this post. I’ve also attached my snippets if you want to use them. I don’t use too many because I can’t remember too many shortcuts, just the frequent ones.