Is it possible to have a bash script (like a .bashrc or .bash_profile, basically) that is executed only upon cd’ing into a specific folder?

  • Not yet. But you could alias cd to read one.
    – ott--
    May 16, 2015 at 22:01

2 Answers 2


Add this to your ~/.bashrc.

If .bashrc is located in current working directory:

PROMPT_COMMAND='if [[ "$bashrc" != "$PWD" && "$PWD" != "$HOME" && -e .bashrc ]]; then bashrc="$PWD"; . .bashrc; fi'
  • 2
    can you explain how this works...please? :)
    – user291415
    May 17, 2015 at 5:23
  • 4
    If variable $PROMPT_COMMAND is set, the value is executed as a command prior to issuing each primary prompt. In this case it makes three tests before .bashrc in current working directory is sourced.
    – Cyrus
    May 17, 2015 at 5:29
  • This seemed to break my bash config, after adding this line to my ~/.bashrc file, upon opening a new terminal window my prompt and all my bashrc config in my home dir bashrc wasn't applied (I got the default prompt, etc). Jan 18 at 17:24

Depending on your exact use case and constraints, ondir may suit your needs:

ondir is a small program to automate tasks specific to certain directories. It works by executing scripts in directories when you enter and leave them.

It does this by using a central ~/.ondirrc file for per-dir configuration. In contrast, the clever PROMPT_COMMAND setup that @Cyrus suggested allows for the config to reside in the individual directories themselves. Each approach is valid; it depends on the constraints and data you're dealing with.

Disclaimer: I've never used ondir personally. I came across it while looking for an automatic way to handle git user config per-dir. In that case, ondir didn't fit my needs—I ended up using a git alias passing --config options to git clone.

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