[linux] How to make an "alias" for a long path?

I tried to make an "alias" for a path that I use often while shell scripting. I tried something, but it failed:

cd myFold

bash: cd: myFold: No such file or directory

How do I make it work ?
However, cd ~/Files/Scripts/Mainworks.

This question is related to linux bash unix scripting

The answer is

Another option would be to use a symbolic link. ie:

ln -s ~/Files/Scripts/Main ~/myFold

After that you can perform operations to ~/myFold, such as:

cp some_file.txt ~/myFold

which will put the file in ~/Files/Scripts/Main. You can remove the symbolic link at any time with rm ~/myFold, which will keep the original directory.

There is a shell option cdable_vars:

If this is set, an argument to the cd builtin command that is not a directory is assumed to be the name of a variable whose value is the directory to change to.

You could add this to your .bashrc:

shopt -s cdable_vars
export myFold=$HOME/Files/Scripts/Main

Notice that I've replaced the tilde with $HOME; quotes prevent tilde expansion and Bash would complain that there is no directory ~/Files/Scripts/Main.

Now you can use this as follows:

cd myFold

No $ required. That's the whole point, actually – as shown in other answers, cd "$myFold" works without the shell option. cd myFold also works if the path in myFold contains spaces, no quoting required.

This usually even works with tab autocompletion as the _cd function in bash_completion checks if cdable_vars is set – but not every implementation does it in the same manner, so you might have to source bash_completion again in your .bashrc (or edit /etc/profile to set the shell option).

Other shells have similar options, for example Zsh (cdablevars).

but an actual alias for a dir is also possible, try

 alias myScripts="cd $myScripts"

This way you have a common naming convention (for each dir/alias pair), and if you need to copy something from the current dir to myScripts, you don't have to think about it.


First off, you need to remove the quotes:

bashboy@host:~$ myFolder=~/Files/Scripts/Main

The quotes prevent the shell from expanding the tilde to its special meaning of being your $HOME directory.

You could then use $myFolder an environment a shell variable:

bashboy@host:~$ cd $myFolder

To make an alias, you need to define the alias:

alias myfolder="cd $myFolder"

You can then treat this sort of like a command:

bashboy@host:~$ myFolder

Put the following line in your myscript

set myFold = '~/Files/Scripts/Main'

In the terminal use

source myscript
cd $myFold

Maybe it's better to use links

Soft Link

Symbolic or soft link (files or directories, more flexible and self documenting)

#      Source                            Link
ln -s /home/jake/doc/test/2000/something /home/jake/xxx

Hard Link

Hard link (files only, less flexible and not self documenting)

#    Source                            Link
ln /home/jake/doc/test/2000/something /home/jake/xxx

How to create a link to a directory

Hint: If you need not to see the link in your home you can start it with a dot . ; then it will be hidden by default then you can access it like

cd ~/.myHiddelLongDirLink

You can add any paths you want to the hashtable of your bash:

hash -d <CustomName>=<RealPath>

Now you will be able to cd ~<CustomName>. To make it permanent add it to your bashrc script.

Notice that this hashtable is meant to provide a cache for bash not to need to search for content everytime a command is executed, therefore this table will be cleared on events that invalidate the cache, e.g. modifying $PATH.

First, you need the $ to access "myFold"'s value to make the code in the question work:

cd "$myFold"

To simplify this you create an alias in ~/.bashrc:

alias cdmain='cd ~/Files/Scripts/Main'

Don't forget to source the .bashrc once to make the alias become available in the current bash session:

source ~/.bashrc

Now you can change to the folder using:


The preceding answers that I tried do not allow for automatic expansion (autocompletion) of subdirectories of the aliased directory.

However, if you push the directory that you want to alias onto the dirs stack...

$ pushd ~/my/aliased/dir

...you can then type dirs -v to see its numeric position in the stack:

 0  ~/my/aliased/dir
 1  ~/Downloads
 2  /media/usbdrive

and refer to it using that number for most if not all commands that expect a directory parameter:

 $ mv foo.txt ~0  

You can even use Tab to show the immediate subdirectories of the "aliased" directory:

 $ cd ~0/<Tab>
 child_dir1    child_dir2

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