Using sudo with user dotfiles and aliases

less than 1 minute read

The Problem

I’m a terminal junkie, and a heavy user of Neovim. This leads to a couple of issues when I’m using sudo:

  • I’ve got nvim aliased to vim in my aliases file (which I source from both .bashrc and .zshrc, so I have consistency). Sudo doesn’t respect aliases by default, so opens up vanilla Vim
  • When I sudo nvim it brings up Neovim, but just uses the boring default settings (since I don’t have anything set up for the root user)

What I Want

What I want: I type sudo vim and it opens up Neovim with my user settings

The Solution

I’ve finally worked out a fix. In your .zshrc (or .bashrc or .whateverrc) file:

alias sudo='nocorrect sudo -E '

Now, when I type sudo vim foo.txt, it brings up Neovim with my own settings!

Breaking It Down

  • nocorrect - required by zsh for autocorrect to work with sudo
  • -E - tells sudo to respect the environment it’s being started in (i.e. the environment with my dotfiles)
  • The space at the end - passes aliases through to sudo


  • Maybe this only [[happened]] since I moved over to zsh from bash? I can’t remember to be honest