Hack 3. Perform mkdir and cd using a single command

Sometimes when you create a new directory, you may cd to the new directory immediately to perform some work as shown below.

# mkdir -p /tmp/subdir1/subdir2/subdir3

# cd /tmp/subdir1/subdir2/subdir3

# pwd

Wouldn’t it be nice to combine both mkdir and cd in a single command? Add the following to the .bash_profile and re-login.

$ vi .bash_profile

function mkdircd () { mkdir -p "$@" && eval cd "\"\$$#\""; }

Now, perform both mkdir and cd at the same time using a single command as shown below:

# mkdircd /tmp/subdir1/subdir2/subdir3

[Note: This creates the directory and cd to it automatically]

# pwd

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Smok Wawelski January 14, 2010, 6:09 am

    Why don’t You use
    mkdir -p "$@" && cd $_;
    instead of
    mkdir -p "$@" && eval cd "\"\$$#\"";
    ? Isn’t it a bit clumsy?

  • Raksi September 12, 2011, 11:50 pm

    >Why don’t You use
    >mkdir -p “$@” && cd $_;
    >instead of
    >mkdir -p “$@” && eval cd “\”\$$#\””;
    >? Isn’t it a bit clumsy?

    Because it is possible to create directories that contain “space” characters. With your solution it is not possible. Anyway, thanks for the hack.

  • Seth January 28, 2012, 7:36 pm

    For us noobs, an explanation of each part of the funtion would be really helpful. What do the different characters mean?

  • Ashley May 2, 2012, 1:08 am

    I agree with Seth – and thanks Raksi – ignore the smug Smok

  • setch August 24, 2012, 3:50 pm

    I like S Wawelskis alternative.
    I’ve read “use eval with care”.
    I also try to not leave spaces in my directory naming scheme.
    That is just how I like to work. As always ymmv
    The “bash advanced scripting guide” will surely explain
    how both versions work.

  • 6pi January 17, 2013, 9:00 am

    Why not?
    mkdir -p “$@” && cd “$@”

  • siva June 27, 2013, 4:10 am

    ” mkdir -p ” : i know that mkdir will make a directory and what is -p stands for???

  • bill August 2, 2013, 7:54 am

    @siva the -p causes mkdir to make the intermediate directories as needed if they don’t already exist. For example, say you wanted to run:
    ~> mkdir ~/Projects/Example/Really_Awesome_Thing

    But the directory “Example” doesn’t exist yet then you will get an error. But if you ran:
    ~> mkdir -p ~/Projects/Example/Really_Awesome_Thing

    Then all the necessary directories on the way to ‘Really_Awesome_Thing’ would be created along the way and you would not receive an error.


  • JGarrido February 4, 2014, 1:00 pm

    Here are some simple options, if you’re not interested in creating an alias. These should work in both Mac and Linux:

    mkdir new_directory && cd $_
    mkdir -p path/to/new/directory && cd $_
    mkdir “new directory” && cd “$_”
    mkdir -p “new path/with/spaces in it” && cd “$_”

    The first one is probably the most common use case. The main thing to remember for the others is to use the -p switch if you’re creating more than one directory deep, and use double quotes if there’s a space anywhere in the path.