Create and change to a new directory in a single shell command

by on March 16, 2007 · 4 comments· LAST UPDATED March 16, 2007

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Q. How do I create a new directory and change to same in a single command? For example I need to create a directory called foo and change to same
mkdir foo
cd foo

How do I run both command at a time?

There is no such command exists that can create and change directory in a one pass. However you can create a shell function or alias to automate this task.

Howto creating and changing into a new Directory same time

Add following function to your bash startup file ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bashrc
$ vi ~/.bashrc
Append mcd() code:

mcd ()
    if [ "$1" == "" ]; then
        echo "mcd directory-name";
        if [ ! -d $1 ]; then
            mkdir $1;
            cd $1;
            echo "$1 directory exists";

Save and close the file. Logout and login again or type the following command:
$ . ~/.bashrc

Now use mcd command:
$ mcd foo
$ pwd

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hanifa April 24, 2007 at 9:00 am

I have found your tutorial useful but I’d like a clarify something. Is it required to place the semi-colon like as in C/C++ or not .
Cos I have seen u put ; for one fi and not for the other one.
I have tried without putting ; for any of the statement and it also works.
So is the semicolon neccesary.


2 Duane July 10, 2007 at 10:58 pm


If you use “mkdir -p $1;” then you can make nested directories.

For example, mcd new_project/images



3 Sy Ali July 22, 2007 at 12:22 pm

Just a quick thanks. I’ve been using a simplified version of this, but I like your version a lot. =)


4 slink February 21, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Instead of using “==” you may choose “=” for testing equality, hence the method mentioned above would run on other shells, too.


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