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
  • 1
    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
  • 2
    (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
up vote 40 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.

  • 2
    Instead of `which mkdir`, just use command mkdir. – Dennis Williamson Jun 15 '10 at 14:33
  • 1
    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
  • 2
    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
  • That also works for zsh btw – Florian Loch Dec 23 '14 at 11:37

The bash, zsh Shells

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

The fish Shell

In the fish shell, I would type the following:

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

The alt key combined with either the up or the down arrow key will cycle through command parameter history.

  • 4
    This works in zsh too. – Nabil Kadimi Feb 16 '14 at 10:01
  • 3
    Can you explain what $_ is? Newbie here. – arg20 Jun 25 '14 at 15:16

For oh-my-zsh users:
$ take 'directory_name'


  • 1
    Can you explain this in more detail? – bwDraco Jul 13 '15 at 5:47

What about:

$ mkdir newdirname; cd $_

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

  • 24
    The point of && is that cd will not be executed if the mkdir command fails – slhck Mar 14 '12 at 9:29
  • 1
    @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

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.

  • 4
    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
$echo 'mkcd() { mkdir -p "$@" && cd "$_"; }' >> ~/.bashrc
$mkcd < pathtofolder/foldername >

Depending on the desired outcome if the directory already exists.

Fail if directory already exists

mkcd() {
    mkdir $1 && cd $1

Change directory regardless

mkcd() {
    mkdir $1 ; cd $1

Usage mkcd some/path/to/my/dir

I found that the function below can only make one directory, if I want to make subdirectories at the same time, it doesn't work :

function mkdir
  command mkdir $1 && cd $1

So I changed it and now its working great!

function mkcd
  command mkdir -pv $1 && cd $1 && echo "Now in `pwd`"

Here is a simple function I put in my ~/.config/fish/ file which accomplishes this task:

function mkcd
    mkdir -pv $argv;
    cd $argv;

The -pv tag allows for the creation of directories with sub-directories.

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