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

Posted on in Categories , , , , , , , , , last updated March 16, 2007

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";
    else
        if [ ! -d $1 ]; then
            mkdir $1;
            cd $1;
        else
            echo "$1 directory exists";
        fi;
    fi
}

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

Now use mcd command:
$ mcd foo
$ pwd

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

4 comment

  1. HI,
    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.
    thanks

Leave a Comment