Bash tricks

Over the holidays I stumbled across 2 neat bash tricks to simplify navigation between folders:

  • autocd
  • autojump

Neither of these features is new.


autocd is very simple: It’s a built-in bash feature which prepends cd in case you enter a valid path.

$ cd /etc
$ /etc # the same


Add this to your ~/.bashrc:

shopt -s autocd


A cd command that learns - easily navigate directories from the command line

Directly from the source at autojump:


j is a convenience wrapper function around autojump. Any option that can be used with autojump can be used with j and vice versa.

Jump To A Directory That Contains foo:

j foo

Jump To A Child Directory:

Sometimes it’s convenient to jump to a child directory (sub-directory of current directory) rather than typing out the full name.

jc bar

Open File Manager To Directories (instead of jumping):

Instead of jumping to a directory, you can open a file explorer window (Mac Finder, Windows Explorer, GNOME Nautilus, etc.) to the directory instead.

jo music

Opening a file manager to a child directory is also supported:

jco images

Using Multiple Arguments:

Let’s assume the following database:

30   /home/user/mail/inbox
10   /home/user/work/inbox

j in would jump into /home/user/mail/inbox as the higher weighted entry. However you can pass multiple arguments to autojump to prefer a different entry. In the above example, j w in would then change directory to /home/user/work/inbox.

For more options refer to help:

autojump --help
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