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Is it possible to have Xmonad open a new terminal in the same directory as the active terminal (if the active window is a terminal or a program like vim running in one)? As it is, all my terminals open in $HOME. It does not matter to me if this happens if I open a new terminal in a different workspace. This would be a huge productivity gain because otherwise I would have to cd all the way up to the directory I am working in.

If this is not possible to do directly using Xmonad, I am interested in alternative solutions to this. The only thing I can think of is to overload PROMPT_COMMAND to write out the current directory to a file and have my .bashrc look at this file to determine where to go. But this is a very imperfect solution that would work for many cases, but will leave a good majority incorrect.

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Depends which terminal you are using? – Robert Massaioli May 4 '13 at 10:11
Urxvt is a little tricky but this feature is built straight into gnome terminal. – Robert Massaioli May 4 '13 at 12:21
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I haven't messed with the defaults much and ctrl+shift+n does it for me.

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I never though of using my terminal's controls to do so (as opposed to X-Monad's controls). This works for me. – Thomas Eding Oct 3 '14 at 16:25

That doesn't really answers your question, but I have an alternative that can save your time and solve your problem: autojump

This is a software that saves your habits when navigating between folders in the terminal. Every time you cd in a folder, it increase the associated likelihood. For example on my system it has now something like:

343368.3820292514   /home/fb
66.1004508305352    /home/fb/documents
65.2439790325514    /home/fb/workspace/MyProject
55.78935025659235   /very/long/path/boring/to/join/Folder
51.78935025659235   /home/fb/master-thesis
49.150383518340945  /usr/share/opencv
43.1282216187962    /home/fb/.dotvim

Then afterward, when you want to go in a folder, you can give only a part of the name and it will go to the most probable folder that corresponds. Usually the command j is associated with autojump. For instance in your case the usage will be as follow.

  1. Open a terminal
  2. (First time only) Go with cd to the folder /very/long/path/boring/to/join/Folder
  3. Do some work
  4. Later, when you need another terminal, open a new one
  5. Entering j fol<ENTER> will bring your directly to /home/fb/very/long/path/boring/to/join/Folder

Of course this only work if the folder you want to join is a folder where you often go.

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That sounds like a cool utility. I'd like to see if there is a utility that pushes a directory that you can pop back later... or if not, create one myself: pwd > ~/poo -> cd `cat ~/poo` – Thomas Eding May 7 '13 at 17:56
Just ask: pushd and popd ;-) – StreakyCobra May 7 '13 at 19:23
Also to switch quickly between two folders: cd -. A common workflow is cd my/directory/one, then work on it until another folder is needed: cd /etc/httpd/. Then to go back to previous one: cd -, what mark current directory as previous, making another cd - to switch back to it. – StreakyCobra May 7 '13 at 19:28

I set the my directory on a per workspace basis. Then all the terminals I open in that workspace open in that directory. This is done using the workspacedir extension:

Basically I bound a key to changeDir. When I press that key a prompt pops up that allows you to set the directory (with working tab completion).

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If you can get PID of shell running in current window you can than do something like executing urxvt -cd $(readlink /proc/$PID/cwd) (or something similar for different terminal). Don't know how to get pid of current window in XMonad though.

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