tutorials bash

Set CDPATH to ease folder navigation

CDPATH is an environment variable which tells the cd command where to look for the specified folder. By including the parent folders of commonly used locations you can access folders more easily - and without typing an entire path.

Open up your shell profile file .bashrc (Linux) or .bash_profile (Mac).

Somewhere near the bottom of the file add a line to set the CDPATH environment variable:


In order left to right this tells cd to look in:

  1. The current directory (blank; before the first :)
  2. The parent directory ..
  3. Your home directory ~
  4. Your projects directory in your home ~/projects

You can add as many folders to search as you like and these will be checked in order from left to right.

Restart your shell (close and reopen or enter restart) and then try to cd to folders in your home directory from anywhere on your filesystem with cd <foldername> and no path.

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