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.

This is something I do frequently

$ mkdir foo
$ cd foo

This works as a single command, but it's more keystrokes and saves no time.

$ mkdir foo && cd foo

Is there a shortcut for this?


With the use of help below, this seems to be the most elegant answer.

# ~/.bashrc
function mkcd {
  if [ ! -n "$1" ]; then
    echo "Enter a directory name"
  elif [ -d $1 ]; then
    echo "\`$1' already exists"
    mkdir $1 && cd $1
share|improve this question
You can rename the function to mkdir if you use command mkdir $1 instead of just mkdir $1 in the function body. –  Andy Jun 15 '10 at 14:50
(1) why not simply "mkdir $1 ; cd $1" instead of "&&"? that way the "cd" succeeds even if the "mkdir" fails, and you don't need the does-it-already-exist scaffolding. (2) as written your function won't work (to prompt you for a directory name). you need to put that in a separate "if" clause from the existence test (currently in "elif"). –  quack quixote Jun 15 '10 at 16:25

5 Answers 5

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I'm no Linux/bash expert, but try putting this in your .bashrc.

function mkdir
  command mkdir $1 && cd $1

PS Thanks to Dennis for using command mkdir.

share|improve this answer
Instead of `which mkdir`, just use command mkdir. –  Dennis Williamson Jun 15 '10 at 14:33
Thanks Dennis. There's nothing under man command - could you direct me to a reference? (I can work out what it does, but it pays to be thorough;) –  Andy Jun 15 '10 at 14:49
command is described in the manual of bash (which it is a built-in of; it's not a separate command). You could also try help command. –  grawity Jun 15 '10 at 18:39
@grawity Perfect, thanks. –  Andy Jun 16 '10 at 8:04
Not sure why this is not the accepted answer—the currently accepted one doesn't even seem to work. –  Erik Allik Oct 13 '13 at 16:18

If you don't want another function to remember and don't mind bashisms:

$ mkdir /home/foo/doc/bar && cd $_

The $_ (dollar underscore) bash command variable contains the most recent parameter. So if a user were to type the following at the command line: echo foo bar && echo $_ baz, then the output would be as follows:

foo bar
bar baz

In the fish shell, I would type the following:

> mkdir /home/foo/doc/bar
> cd alt + ↑

The alt key followed by the up or down arrow keys cycles through command parameter history.

share|improve this answer
This works in zsh too. –  Nabil Kadimi Feb 16 '14 at 10:01
Can you explain what $_ is? Newbie here. –  arg20 Jun 25 '14 at 15:16
@arg20 I updated my answer. –  kzh Jun 25 '14 at 18:04
this should be the selected answer –  Herod Nov 23 '14 at 16:35
Yeah. This really should be selected. This is perfect. I can't ssh into a server and update .bashrc everytime... Thanks for this! –  Jake Feb 13 at 3:38

You can try something like this:

mkdir $1 && cd $1

Save this script to some place that is in your path, for example, /usr/local/bin or ~/bin (you have to put this last one into your path in your ~/.profile file). Then you can simply call it.

share|improve this answer
how can this work? it seems to only cd inside the context of the execution of the ~/bin/mkcd script, not the caller of the script. –  Erik Allik Oct 13 '13 at 16:15

What about:

$ mkdir newdirname; cd $_

It's a bit easier than using &&, combining quack quixote's and kzh's answers.

share|improve this answer
The point of && is that cd will not be executed if the mkdir command fails –  slhck Mar 14 '12 at 9:29
@slhck actually that was the point of quixote: cd even if mkdir fails (for instance if it already exists, forcing the user to write a second command to actually cd to the path). However contrarily to what this answers says, that's not for easiness: && is not more complicated than ;. –  moala Feb 2 '13 at 9:13
$echo 'mkcd() { mkdir -p "$@" && cd "$_"; }' >> ~/.bashrc
$mkcd < pathtofolder/foldername >
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


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.