Daily Hacks

Hack #5-> Manipulate Directory Stack

You can use directory stack to push directories into it and later pop
directory from the stack. Following three commands are used in this
example.
• dirs: Display the directory stack
• pushd: Push directory into the stack
• popd: Pop directory from the stack and cd to it
Dirs will always print the current directory followed by the content of the
stack. Even when the directory stack is empty, dirs command will still
print only the current directory as shown below.

# popd
-bash: popd: directory stack empty
# dirs
~
# pwd
/home/ramesh

How to use pushd and popd? Let us first create some temporary
directories and push them to the directory stack as shown below.

# mkdir /tmp/dir1
# mkdir /tmp/dir2
# mkdir /tmp/dir3
# mkdir /tmp/dir4

# cd /tmp/dir1
# pushd .
# cd /tmp/dir2
# pushd .
# cd /tmp/dir3
# pushd .
# cd /tmp/dir4
# pushd .
# dirs
/tmp/dir4 /tmp/dir4 /tmp/dir3 /tmp/dir2 /tmp/dir1
[Note: The first directory (/tmp/dir4) of the dir command
output is always the current directory and not the content
from the stack.]

At this stage, the directory stack contains the following directories:

/tmp/dir4
/tmp/dir3
/tmp/dir2
/tmp/dir1

The last directory that was pushed to the stack will be at the top. When
you perform popd, it will cd to the top directory entry in the stack and
remove it from the stack. As shown above, the last directory that was
pushed into the stack is /tmp/dir4. So, when we do a popd, it will cd to
the /tmp/dir4 and remove it from the directory stack as shown below.

# popd

# pwd
/tmp/dir4
[Note: After the above popd, directory Stack Contains:
/tmp/dir3
/tmp/dir2
/tmp/dir1]
# popd
# pwd
/tmp/dir3
[Note: After the above popd, directory Stack Contains:
/tmp/dir2
/tmp/dir1]
# popd
# pwd
/tmp/dir2
[Note: After the above popd, directory Stack Contains:
/tmp/dir1]
# popd
# pwd
/tmp/dir1
[Note: After the above popd, directory Stack is empty!]
# popd
-bash: popd: directory stack empty

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