Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm often deep inside a directory tree, moving upwards and downwards to perform various tasks. Is there anything more efficient than going 'cd ../../../..'?

I was thinking something along the lines of this: If I'm in /foo/bar/baz/qux/quux/corge/grault and want to go to /foo/bar/baz, I want to do something like 'cdto baz'. I can write some bash script for this, but I'd first like to know if it already exists in some form.

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Here's a function that does what you want:

cdto () { cd "${PWD%/$1/*}/$1"; }

Here's another handy one:

c2 () {
        local path num
    if (($# != 0))
    then
        path='./'
    fi
    if [[ -z ${1//.} ]]
    then
        num=${#1}
    elif [[ -z ${1//[[:digit:]]} ]]
    then
        num=$1
    else
        echo "Invalid argument"
        return 1
    fi
    for ((i=0; i<num-1; i++))
    do
        path+='../'
    done
    cd $path
}

Usage:

c2 .    # same as cd .
c2 ..   # same as cd ..
c2 ...  # same as cd ../..
c2 3    # also same as cd ../..
c2      # same as cd (which is the same as cd ~)

I thought one of the shells used to have the cumulative dot-dot-dot feature (I even checked Vista just now and it didn't have it although Google claims that some versions of Windows do).

Edit

An undocumented feature of Bash is that a lot of characters are acceptable in function names. As a result, you can do this:

.. () { cd ..; }
... () { cd ../..; }
.... () { cd ../../..; }
..... () { cd ../../../..; }
share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, the small function you posted is exactly what I asked for, except this: how can I use it as a command in the shell? It works inside a shell script, cd in a shell doesn't affect the pwd of the shell that called it. I tried putting it into an alias, which didn't work either. Any suggestions? –  Haakon Jun 2 '10 at 21:18
1  
@haakon: Put the function in a file and source the file using . filename. That adds the function to the current environment. You could also simply add the function definition to your ~/.bashrc file or, like I do, put it in a file with other functions called ~/bin/functions then in my ~/.bashrc I have a statement that sources that file . ~/bin/functions. –  Dennis Williamson Jun 2 '10 at 22:52
    
Awesome, thanks! –  Haakon Jun 3 '10 at 9:40

If you often "go somewhere" and then want to "go back" you could use bash's directory stack: pushd to change to the specific directory and popd to go back where you came from.

[/tmp]$ mkdir -p some/deep/directory/tree
[/tmp]$ pushd some/deep/directory/tree
/tmp/some/deep/directory/tree /tmp

[/tmp/some/deep/directory/tree]$ pushd ..
/tmp/some/deep/directory /tmp/some/deep/directory/tree /tmp

[/tmp/some/deep/directory]$ popd
/tmp/some/deep/directory/tree /tmp

[/tmp/some/deep/directory/tree]$ popd
/tmp

[/tmp]$

Otherwise tweak $CDPATH as suggested by JRobert.

share|improve this answer
    
Cool solution! I hadn't seen that before. –  Jarvin Jun 1 '10 at 20:51

Make a CDPATH. It does for 'cd' what PATH does for finding executables. From 'man bash':

CDPATH The search path for the cd command. This is a colon-separated list of directories in which the shell looks for destination directories specified by the cd command. A sample value is ".:~:/usr".

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, I have used CDPATH in the past but it requires planning ahead and having very static paths you want to go to. It's immensely useful in those cases, though. –  Haakon Jun 2 '10 at 11:07

"cd -" moves back to the directory you were last in.

dan@home:/home/dan/ $ cd test/2009/apt/
dan@home:/home/dan/test/2009/apt/ $ cd -
dan@home:/home/dan/ $ 
share|improve this answer
    
I use cd - a whole lot; it's good for when you go back and forwards between two directories. But as soon as you have three or more, it breaks. –  Haakon Jun 2 '10 at 11:09

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.