Linux cd command examples

Linux FAQ: Can you share some cd command examples?

The Linux cd command stands for "change directory". It is the primary command for moving between directories on a Unix/Linux filesystem.

Examples of the cd command

This first command moves you to the /usr directory. The /usr directory becomes your current working directory:

cd /usr

Similarly, this cd command moves you to the /tmp directory:

cd /tmp

You don't have to move just one directory at a time though. You can easily jump from one directory to another directory that's far, far away, like this:

cd /var/www/html/unix/edu

Linux cd command: Using wildcards

You can also use wildcard characters when moving between directories. This next command works just like the previous command, taking me to the /var/www/html/unix/edu directory on my Linux system:

cd /v*/w*/h*/u*/e*

The * wildcard characters can be interpreted as "any number of any character", so the Linux system expands the /v*/w*/h*/u*/e* that I typed into /var/www/html/unix/edu.

Linux cd command and auto-complete

An even better way to cd to that same directory is to use the auto-complete functionality in the Bash shell of all modern Linux systems. Using auto-complete, you can hit the [Tab] key any time you might normally use the asterisk, so I could move to that previous directory using the following keystrokes:

cd /v[Tab]/w[Tab]/h[Tab]/u[Tab]/e[Tab]

That doesn't look great in text, but trust me, you'll come to love the Bash auto-complete functionality. (As they would say on the tv show Monk, "You'll thank me later.")

The cd command: Going home

On all Unix and Linux systems that I'm aware of, you can always get back to your home directory by typing the cd command without any arguments, like this:


As far as I know, that works with Bash, the Korn shell, the C shell, etc.

cd command: Back to the previous directory

Again, with every Unix and Linux shell I've worked with, you can also always move back to your previous directory by adding a hyphen after the cd command, like this:

cd -

This is a great feature for when you're moving back and forth between two different directories while working on a project.

Unix/Linux cd command examples

I hope these Unix and Linux cd command examples have been helpful. If you have any questions or comments, just leave a note in the Comments section below.