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A simple directive which disables all aliases and functions for the command immediately following it. Shortcut for the bash built-in 'command' - "command linefoo".
There are 9 alternatives - vote for the best!
e.g. if rm is aliased for 'rm -i', you can escape the alias by prepending a backslash:
rm [file] # WILL prompt for confirmation per the alias
\rm [file] # will NOT prompt for confirmation per the default behavior of the command
say, someone has aliased ls to 'ls --color=always' and you want to temporarily override the alias (it does not override functions)
Most distributions alias cp to 'cp -i', which means when you attempt to copy into a directory that already contains the file, cp will prompt to overwrite. A great default to have, but when you mean to overwrite thousands of files, you don't want to sit there hitting [y] then [enter] thousands of times.
Enter the backslash. It runs the command unaliased, so as in the example, cp will happily overwrite existing files much in the way mv works.
if you have a alias like this:
alias cp='cp -i'
# cp file1 file1.bak
# cp -i file1 file1.bak
(it will not overwrite file1.bak if it exist)
# \cp file1 file1.bak
# /bin/cp file1 file1.bak
(skip alias settings, it will overwrite file1.bak if it exist)
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