Zsh abbrev-alias

About a year ago I read this article about abbr by Sean Henderson. He makes some good points that one should not use alias for shortcuts but abbr:

Fish shell has abbr build in. Fish looks really nice… but it is not POSIX compatible. I don’t want to get used to Fish syntax, and then log into a server and having to use Bash/Zsh. Although I must say that the syntax look nicer than POSIX/Bash/Zsh.

Recently I stumbled upon the zsh-abbrev-alias plugin by momo-lab which mimics Fish’s abbr in Zsh. This is wonderful!

One thing that was not clear to me from the docs is how you can NOT select an abbr. momo-lab quickly helped me with that: C-x space or C-x RET does that.

Here is part of my NixOS config of Zsh with abbrev-alias:


  abbrev-alias = pkgs.fetchFromGitHub {
    owner = "momo-lab";
    repo = "zsh-abbrev-alias";
    rev = "079a254143f8ab7907d6aceb25e86d5a804d0704";
    sha256 = "1ksf57zfrbfigi9mz3r9vrbmr6bw55nlgbzs5h9qcgszavgi7nvl";

  abbrevs = {
    static = {
      gs="git status";
      gc="git commit -m";
      gf="git fetch";
      gm="git merge --no-ff --no-edit";
      gdd="git diff develop";
      gd="git diff";
      ga="git add";
      gaa="git add -A";
      gco="git checkout";
      gb="git --no-pager branch";
      gr="git remote";
      grh="git reset HEAD";
      grb="git rebase";
      gri="git rebase -i";
      grc="git rebase --continue";
      gra="git rebase --abort";

      db="docker build .";
      dri="docker run -it --rm ";

      sc="sudo systemctl";
      scu="systemctl --user";
      jcu="journalctl --user";

      serve="python3 -m http.server";

      clj="clojure -A:rebel";

      ip4="ip -4 a";
      ip6="ip -6 a";


      dmesg="dmesg -wT";

      nbe="nix-build -E 'with import <nixpkgs> {}; callPackage ./default.nix {}'";
      nbe32="nix-build -E 'with import <nixpkgs> {}; pkgsi686Linux.callPackage ./default.nix {}'";
      nba="nix-build '<nixpkgs>' -A";
      ns="nix-shell --command zsh -p";
      nsq="nix-store --query --references";
      nsqq="nix-store --query --referrers";
      nix-roots="nix-store --gc --print-roots";

      branch="git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD";

      G="| grep";

    eval = {
      B="$(git symbolic-ref --short HEAD 2> /dev/null)";
      build-me="nixos-deploy $(hostname) build";
      switch-me="nixos-deploy $(hostname) switch";


xdg.configFile.".zshrc".text = ''
  # .. zsh init ...

  # Load abbrev alias.
  source ${abbrev-alias}/abbrev-alias.plugin.zsh

  # Set up abbrevations.
  ${concatStringsSep "\n" (attrValues
    (mapAttrs (k: v: "abbrev-alias -g ${k}=\"${v}\"") abbrevs.static))}
  ${concatStringsSep "\n" (attrValues
    (mapAttrs (k: v: "abbrev-alias -ge ${k}=\"${v}\"") abbrevs.eval))}