4.6. Leaving your
Current Working Directory
To change directories from your current working directory, use
the command cd.
The above command changes directories to the /tmp/ directory. The second word on the command
line must be a path. It can either be relative or absolute, and can
move one directory or many. If the cd
command is entered at the shell prompt with no options or path
specified, the default action is to move the user into their home
directory. For example, user someone would
be moved to the /home/someone/
The cd has many useful options. You can
see all of these options by entering man
cd at the shell prompt. The most commonly used options are
cd — Returns you to your login directory
cd - — Returns you to your previous working directory
cd ~ — Also returns you to your login directory
cd / — Takes you to the entire system's root
cd /root — Takes you to the home directory of the root
user. You must be the root user to access this directory.
cd /home — Takes you to the home directory, where user
login directories are usually stored
cd .. — Takes you to the directory one level up.
cd ~otheruser — Takes
you to otheruser's home
directory, if otheruser has
granted you permission.
Below are a few examples of the use of cd.
cd /dir1/dir2/ — Regardless of which directory you are in,
this absolute path takes you directly to dir2, a subdirectory of /dir1/.
cd ../../dir2/dir3/ — This relative path takes you up two
directories, then to dir2/, and finally
into its subdirectory dir3/.
If you attempt to cd into a directory
you do not have permission to access, you are denied permission to access that directory.
Denying access to the root and other users' accounts (or home
directories) is one way your Red Hat Enterprise Linux system
prevents accidental or malicious tampering. Refer to Section 4.11 Ownership and
Permissions for more information.