cd is the basic command used by the Linux users. It is used to change the current working directory of a shell.
cd [-L|[-P [-e]] [[email protected]]] [dir]
Before reading this tutorial, you must know few basics about directories on a Linux system. Get the basic understanding about the absolute vs relative paths in Linux.
- Absolute Path is the full path of directory and always starts with / in Linux system. For example: /tmp, /usr/bin, /var/www etc.
- Relative Path is the partial path of any directory or subdirectory. It can be started from any location of file path except /. For example: www, ./script.sh, ../../www etc.
Now you must memorize these symbols and special characters use the cd command. What’re the symbols meaning when used with the cd command.
- Single dot (.) : current directory (present directory).
- Double dot (..) : parent directory.
- Tiled (~) sign : home directory of current users.
- $HOME variable: home directory of current users.
cd Command Examples
Here is more examples to use with cd commands on Linux system.
- Sample cd command – Provide the remote directory path to switch current directory location of the working shell.
- Using absolute directory path – Any directory path started with the root (/) file system is known as absolute directory path. In other words, you can say it full path.
All the above examples, uses directory location with root (/) are the absolute directory paths.
- Using relative directory path – Any directory path refers from current directory is called relative path. The relative path never started with root (/) file system.
In the above example, first command will change change to “backup” directory available under current directory. The second command will change to “www/html”, which is located in current directory.
- Home directory – You can also use $HOME environment variable for navigation useful for the scripting. Here $HOME always refers to the home directory of the logged in user.
The “~” also refers to the logged in user home directory and can be used with cd command.
- Using . and .. in directory path – The . refers to the current directory and .. refers to the parent directory except /root. This is generally used with relative paths.
The first command is same as “cd public_html” where second command navigates shell to backup directory available under parent directory.
We can also use multiple .. (as much as required) to navigate to any directory structure.
This tutorial descirbes you to uses of cd command on Linux system.