05. Navigating the File System cd

Now that we are able to see the directories we can navigate to, we can move into them. To navigate into a directory, use the cd command, and specify a pathname:

$ cd path/to/directory

Relative and Absolute paths

There are two ways you can specify a path - relative and absolute.

Relative paths

When we talk about relative paths, we are referencing relative to the current working directory (where we are in the file system).

For example, if we were in the Dropbox directory, and wanted to move into FunStuff, the relative path would simply be FunStuff.

Note that we can only call this relative path if we are in a certain directory.

Absolute paths

Absolute paths, on the other hand, start at the root of the File System (/) and can called wherever you are in the file system.

For example, /home/Dropbox/FunStuff/ would be an absolute path since it starts at the root directory and we can reference it from anywhere along the file system.

Directory shortcuts

Here are some shortcut notations to directories.

Root Directory
Current Directory
Parent Directory
Home Directory
Previous Directory

Try using cd command with one of the above directory shortcuts!

$ cd /        # change to root directory
$ cd -        # change to folder you were previously in
$ cd ..       # change to the parent directory (one directory up the file system)

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