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Quickly go back to a directory instead of typing cd ../../.. (github.com)
85 points by vigneshwaran on Sept 1, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 49 comments

Two other simple tips without requiring a script:

"cd -" will jump back to the last directory you were at, regardless of where it is.

Add this to your .bashrc / .zshrc / whatever:

alias cdg='cd $(git rev-parse --show-cdup)'

And then type "cdg" to keep going up directories until you reach whichever folder contains your git repo. Useful when going from "/Users/philfreo/Projects/myproject/myproject/src/assets/js/views/" back up to "/Users/philfreo/Projects/myproject/"

Similarly, in zsh cd -n will take you to the nth-most-recent directory. 'dirs -v' will show the current state of the directory stack... you can do things like "dirs -v" + "cd -6" to figure out the number to use, then go to that directory.

Note that "git rev-parse --show-cdup" return the empty string if you are at the top of the git repo. So "cdg" as defined above will drop you in the hope directory if you are already at the top of your git tree.

Yup. Perhaps `git rev-parse --show-toplevel` is better for this alias.

I just have an alias .cgit='cd /home/<user>/<...>/<repodir>'

In fact, I have a lot of .c<dir> aliases that take me directly to various frequented directories.

zshell automatically links `cd` to `pushd`, which means you can go back with `popd`.

Why not put something like this in your .bashrc or your .profile file instead?

function bd () {

  NEWPWD=`echo $OLDPWD | sed 's|\(.*/'$1'[^/]*/\).*|\1|'`
  index=`echo $NEWPWD | awk '{ print index($1,"/'$1'"); }'`
  if [ $index -eq 0 ] ; then
    echo "No such occurrence."
    echo $NEWPWD
    cd "$NEWPWD"

That way you don't have to execute a separate shell script and source its output. Also note that the "export OLDPWD" wasn't necessary in your script, either. Why pollute the environment of future processes spawned by your shell?

Didn't know about the function approach.

Removed the 'export'. I wrote out of habit. Thanks a lot for pointing that out.

This article covers more advanced functionality than what's built in to shells but don't forget:

  cd -
That goes to previous dir. A utility that follows this convention but adds some more features would be nice. For instance, maybe typing 'cd -2' could take me back two spots in history, like a web browser.

This is exactly what I was going to say, cd +n and cd-n work amazingly.

You can use pushp and popd for this.

I have these two aliases in my .zshrc file:

  alias ..="cd .."
  alias ...="cd ../.."
For moving around to other directories I use autojump (https://github.com/joelthelion/autojump).

I have the same, but I use cd[a]+:

alias cda='cd ../' alias cdaa='cd ../../' alias cdaaa='cd ../../../'

I guess I was influenced by Lisp at the time, with car, cdr, cdar, cddr, etc ;-)

> I guess I was influenced by Lisp at the time, with car, cdr, cdar, cddr, etc ;-)

You saw that naming scheme and thought "wow, that's sensible"?!

pushd and popd can be used maintain an easily rewindable history of places you have been. Use pushd to add the cwd to the stack and cd to another directory. Use popd to cd to the top dir on the stack and remove it.

    $ pwd
    $ pushd /some/other/dir
    /some/other/dir /dir1
    $ pwd
    $ popd
    $ pwd

    wget -O /usr/bin/bd https:[snip]
    chmod +rx /usr/bin/bd
Really? Run wget as root to get a random script, and put it into every user's PATH and a directory that should only be used by the system? :-|

You know when you are getting old by when you have to start using history a lot to try to remember what the heck you did.

I don't think it means you're getting old, necessarily. I'm well under 30, and I use the hell out of history. Whenever I need to do something complex, and I can't figure it out, my solution is often copy/pasted from the web. Bash history is often the only way I can remember which `sed` switch to use, or some complex `grep` operation.

In fact, I use history so much, I increased HISTFILESIZE[0] from 1000 commands to 10000.

[0] http://osxdaily.com/2012/04/12/change-length-of-bash-command...

Oh wow, thanks for this. I was cating ~/.histfile previously :)

This has to be one of the first alternatives to a pushd/popd workflow that actually sounds compelling. Kudos.

Thank you

I have tried stuff like this in the past, but I find it creates too much of a dependence on special configuration. My keymapping and vimrc are already enough. Instead, I usually just do a `cd ..` followed by up/enter/up/enter, which is very easy to type quickly.

An interesting aside: I can't seem to right click that link in Safari (6.0.5). It seems to be the "../../.." in the tag content that does it, because it works if I edit it out in the inspector. Does anyone else run in to this?

I implemented a fairly sophisticated system for navigating directories based on pushd and popd. I also set up a system based on CDPATH to hop quickly to directories I go to frequently. I fell out of the habit of using them once my usage patterns changed, though, and, since I gave "cd -" a new meaning, sometimes it confuses me. It's hard to come up with an interface that's intuitive enough to be future-proof.

alias ..='cd ..'

alias ..1='cd ..'

alias ..2="cd ../.."

alias ..3="cd ../../.."

alias ..4="cd ../../../.."

alias ..5="cd ../../../../.."

    alias ..='cd ..'
    alias ...='cd ../..'
    alias ....='cd ../../..'
    alias .....='cd ../../../..'

I miss the feature of Novell Netware that used to let you type

  cd ...
to go up two levels, or analogously for as many dots as you needed. It was incredibly useful and fast. Thanks for the tip, and I'm using these aliases from now on.

Simple bashrc function

    # go up X directories
    up_dir() {
        for i in $(seq 1 $num_of_dirs)
            cd ..
    alias up=up_dir

    $ pwd
    $ up 4
    $ pwd

    # Hah, I have almost the exact same thing in my bash_profile
    up () {

        for ((i=1; i<=$TIMES; i++));
            cd ..
EDIT: Although now I'm looking at it and it looks like I made a strange choice with `TIMES=${1:-1};`. Oh well, I think it was my first bash script... it's funny to look back at the hack-y crap that your bash_profile accumulates over time.

I've also found this extremely useful. It lets you mark directories with a keyword and jump directly to them regardless of where you are. http://jeroenjanssens.com/2013/08/16/quickly-navigate-your-f...

Here's my, yet another, alternative to the many nice shell hacks out there: a bash/zsh "up" command that does "cd ..", or "up <n>" does "cd .." n times.

    function up () { if test $# = 1 ; then s=$( printf "%$1s" ); s=${s// /..\/}; cd $s ; else cd .. ; fi; }

So why don't you just use jump? A lot of people already use it and you're not limited to just directories parenting yours.

Hi, 'jump' is a great bookmarking system for the bash shell. But you'd only want to bookmark some most used directories.

I made 'bd' out of frustration to use 'cd ../..' all the time from "any" random directory. I can't bookmark all possible places. They are like slightly different tools.

I think it'll be awesome to use both jump and bd in the same system!

Please give 'bd' a try. Once you get used to 'bd', you'll use it frequently without thinking. :)

You can use z, then. You don’t have to bookmark directories to jump to them.

Thanks. z is great! If only I had found this before. I actually googled a lot before writing this (last year April) but couldn't find something like z.

Anyways z always changes directory. Using bd within backticks will just print the path without changing the directory. We can use that with other commands like ls, zip etc. Example: "ls `bd <starting letters>`" would only print the contents without changing the directory.

An obligatory addition - check out fasd (https://github.com/clvv/fasd), inspired by z.

In addition to "z foldername" to move around, you can do things like "v vimrc" or "v freetds.conf" to directly edit files, where ever you are.

It's available on homebrew.

Very useful! Thank you ver much! Although I'd like to add one suggestion and that is to surpress an 'echo' on successful navigation. I'd see my path twice right underneath of eachother, which just clutters up the screen.

Smart idea. Good job! Could you extend bd to jump to bookmarked directories. I often jump between /data... and ~/dir/containing/code/ -- would be useful to have one command help with both scenarios.

Somebody commented that there is a nice tool called 'jump' for bookmarking directories. https://github.com/flavio/jump

You can use both 'jump' to jump between bookmarked directories and 'bd' to quickly go to a parent directory in the same shell.

Shameless plug: This works similar to a script called 'up' which I am the author of: https://github.com/helpermethod/up

For zsh users, I created a similar command with auto-completion! No root access needed to install!


How about using

bind -x '"\C-h":"cd ../;ls"'

(putting it into .bashrc) and then using control-h as a command on the shell to move a directory upwards. very useful for me.

That's a good one!

zsh can be set to automagically track directories (like using `pushd` for you when using `cd`), so all that's needed is `popd`. No scripting required.

In FreeBSD I use the following to change to an arbitrary directory when I'm unsure of the correct path:

`whereis -sq <dirname>`

No extra software necessary.

Why not "cd -" ?

"cd -" only supports the directory you most recently came from ($OLDPWD), while "bd" supports any directory that is a prefix of $PWD.

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