The cd builtin command


cd [-L|-P] [DIRECTORY]
cd -


The cd builtin command is used to change the current working directory

  • to the given directory (cd DIRECTORY)
  • to the previous working directory (cd -) as saved in the OLDPWD shell variable
  • to the user's home directory as specified in the HOME environment variable (when used without a DIRECTORY argument)

The cd builtin command searches the directories listed in CDPATH for a matching directory.

The default behaviour is to follow symbolic links unless the -P option is given or the shell is configured to do so (see the -P option of the set builtin command).


-L Follow symbolic links (default)
-P Do not follow symbolic links
-@ Browse a file's extended attributed, if supported

Exit status

  • true if the directory was changed successfully
  • false if a change to the home directory was requested, but HOME is unset
  • false if anything else goes wrong


Change the working directory to the user's home directory


Change the working directory to the previous directory

cd -

Portability considerations

See also


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