If I try to cd ˜/ it responds:

-bash: "cd: ˜/: No such file or directory"

I also don't seem to have a .bash_profile or .profile.

  • Your PATH is broken, which makes sense if you have no .bash_profile or .profile. Check the answer at unix.stackexchange.com/questions/7076/…
    – user3463
    Aug 12, 2012 at 23:06
  • I sort of thought so, but all the commands work... just not ˜/ (that i've found) FYI when i type set my path looks like > PATH=/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/git/bin:/usr/X11/bin
    – Bert Smith
    Aug 12, 2012 at 23:59

3 Answers 3


That's the wrong tilde character. You typed a "small tilde" (unicode U+02DC), when you want a plain ASCII tilde character (unicode U+007E). Compare the following commands:

cd ~    # plain tilde: this works
cd ˜    # small tilde: doesn't work, because there's no file named "˜"
  • Soooo then where on my keyboard do i find the "Big" tilde, I mean the tilde character next the 1 key has worked for me in the past. This just seems to be a recent event. I guess it's possible that the key got re-mapped somehow???
    – Bert Smith
    Aug 13, 2012 at 1:55
  • Not doubting you answer (as i copied your cd command to my terninal and viola)... but I guess the real question is how do i fix it
    – Bert Smith
    Aug 13, 2012 at 1:58
  • @Bert Smith: Sounds like the correct key on the keyboard. Check your language and regional settings control panel (I'm not sure about the correct terminology for OS X).
    – martineau
    Aug 13, 2012 at 2:12
  • Does that key type the standard tilde or small tilde in other apps (e.g. if you type a tilde in TextEdit, then copy & paste it into Terminal, which one do you get)? If it's typing the small tilde everywhere, look in System Preferences -> Language & Text pane -> Text and Input Sources tabs (and possibly the Keyboard pane). If it's just Terminal, check its preferences, especially the Settings section -> Keyboard tab. Oh, and just to be sure: what kind of keyboard is it? Anything at all unusual (non-Apple, non-US, etc). Aug 13, 2012 at 4:35
  • Yes... small tilde everywhere and I'm using the built in keyboard on my 17"inch MBP running Lion
    – Bert Smith
    Aug 13, 2012 at 17:58

In your Mac keyboard if you type shift+` or option+n then you will get ˜.

If you want to type ~ use shift +`+spacebar.


If you use US International keyboard layout like me, this may solve your problem:

Right after pressing shift+˜, press space.

If you just keep typing the path with forward slash, the terminal will interpret your tilde like a small tilde instead of the normal one. This happens because it tries to combine both characters into one instead of just inputing what you typed.

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