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1.4 The directories . and ..

Still in the unixstuff directory, type

% ls -a

As you can see, in the unixstuff directory (and in all other directories), there are two special directories called (.) and (..)

The current directory (.)

In UNIX, (.) means the current directory, so typing

% cd .

NOTE: there is a space between cd and the dot

means stay where you are (the unixstuff directory).

This may not seem very useful at first, but using (.) as the name of the current directory will save a lot of typing, as we shall see later in the tutorial.

The parent directory (..)

(..) means the parent of the current directory, so typing

% cd ..

will take you one directory up the hierarchy (back to your home directory). Try it now.

Note: typing cd with no argument always returns you to your home directory. This is very useful if you are lost in the file system.

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