How do I get bash completion to work with aliases?


Case in point:

I'm a on mac with bash v3.2.17, I'm using git installed via macports with the bash_completion variant.

When I type git checkout m<tab>. for example, I get it completed to master.

However, I've got an alias to git checkout, gco. When I type gco m<tab>, I don't get the branch name autocompleted.

Ideally I'd like autocompletion to just magically work for all my aliases. Is it possible? Failing that, I'd like to manually customize it for each alias. So, how do I go about either?

9/20/2016 8:45:52 AM

Accepted Answer

As stated in the comments above,

complete -o default -o nospace -F _git_checkout gco

will no longer work. However, there's a __git_complete function in git-completion.bash which can be used to set up completion for aliases like so:

__git_complete gco _git_checkout
2/21/2013 6:25:48 PM

I ran into this problem as well and came up with this code snippet. This will automatically give you completion for all aliases. Run it after declaring all (or any) alias.

# wrap_alias takes three arguments:
# $1: The name of the alias
# $2: The command used in the alias
# $3: The arguments in the alias all in one string
# Generate a wrapper completion function (completer) for an alias
# based on the command and the given arguments, if there is a
# completer for the command, and set the wrapper as the completer for
# the alias.
function wrap_alias() {
  [[ "$#" == 3 ]] || return 1

  local alias_name="$1"
  local aliased_command="$2"
  local alias_arguments="$3"
  local num_alias_arguments=$(echo "$alias_arguments" | wc -w)

  # The completion currently being used for the aliased command.
  local completion=$(complete -p $aliased_command 2> /dev/null)

  # Only a completer based on a function can be wrapped so look for -F
  # in the current completion. This check will also catch commands
  # with no completer for which $completion will be empty.
  echo $completion | grep -q -- -F || return 0

  local namespace=alias_completion::

  # Extract the name of the completion function from a string that
  # looks like: something -F function_name something
  # First strip the beginning of the string up to the function name by
  # removing "* -F " from the front.
  local completion_function=${completion##* -F }
  # Then strip " *" from the end, leaving only the function name.
  completion_function=${completion_function%% *}

  # Try to prevent an infinite loop by not wrapping a function
  # generated by this function. This can happen when the user runs
  # this twice for an alias like ls='ls --color=auto' or alias l='ls'
  # and alias ls='l foo'
  [[ "${completion_function#$namespace}" != $completion_function ]] && return 0

  local wrapper_name="${namespace}${alias_name}"

  eval "
function ${wrapper_name}() {
  let COMP_CWORD+=$num_alias_arguments
  args=( \"${alias_arguments}\" )
  COMP_WORDS=( $aliased_command \${args[@]} \${COMP_WORDS[@]:1} )

  # To create the new completion we use the old one with two
  # replacements:
  # 1) Replace the function with the wrapper.
  local new_completion=${completion/-F * /-F $wrapper_name }
  # 2) Replace the command being completed with the alias.
  new_completion="${new_completion% *} $alias_name"

  eval "$new_completion"

# For each defined alias, extract the necessary elements and use them
# to call wrap_alias.
eval "$(alias -p | sed -e 's/alias \([^=][^=]*\)='\''\([^ ][^ ]*\) *\(.*\)'\''/wrap_alias \1 \2 '\''\3'\'' /')"

unset wrap_alias

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