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Linux terminal trick: Hack the cd command to remember where you've been

Be more efficient with this Linux directory navigation trick.
Hacking the cd command
Image by Morket from Pixabay

I was just on a system that didn't have this hack, and it reminded me how useful it is, so I thought I'd share it for others. Maybe you all can reply with your own shell tricks.

Some of you may know about the pushd and popd commands. pushd is like cd, but keeps track of where you've been. Then you can popd back as many levels as you want. It's like cd and cd - but with a history bigger than one.

The big issue I have with pushd and popd is that in order for popd to work, I have to remember to pushd first.  But, like many of you, by default, I navigate the terminal using the cd command instead.  By the time that I realize popd will be useful, it's already too late because I didn't remember to pushd up front.

Now the hack. Just toss this in your ~/.bashrc:

function cd
    if [ $# -eq 0 ]; then
        pushd ~ > /dev/null
    elif [ " $1" = " -" ]; then
        pushd "$OLDPWD" > /dev/null
        pushd "$@" > /dev/null

And start a new shell. From that point forward, cd will actually execute pushd under the hood, and popd will always be available when you need it.

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Topics:   Linux  
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Ray Strode

Ray is a Desktop Software Engineer who works on GNOME, Fedora, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. More about me

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