Combined `mkdir` and `cd`?

is there any way (what is the easiest way in bash) to combine the following:

mkdir foo
cd foo

The manpage for mkdir does not describe anything like that, maybe there is a fancy version of mkdir? I know that cd has to be shell builtin, so the same would be true for the fancy mkdir


Asked By: Jasper



mkcdir ()
    mkdir -p -- "$1" &&
       cd -P -- "$1"

Put the above code in the ~/.bashrc, ~/.zshrc or another file sourced by your shell. Then source it by running e.g. source ~/.bashrc to apply changes.

After that simply run mkcdir foo or mkcdir "nested/path/in quotes".


  • "$1" is the first argument of the mkcdir command. Quotes around it protects the argument if it has spaces or other special characters.
  • -- makes sure the passed name for the new directory is not interpreted as an option to mkdir or cd, giving the opportunity to create a directory that starts with - or --.
  • -p used on mkdir makes it create extra directories if they do not exist yet, and -P used makes cd resolve symbolic links.
  • Instead of source-ing the rc, you may also restart the terminal emulator/shell.
Answered By: Ouki

Bash (using word designators):

/tmp/bug$ mkdir "some dir"
/tmp/bug$ cd !$
cd "some dir"
/tmp/bug/some dir$ 

!$ expands to the last argument of the previous line in the history. If you have parameters in between, then you can use !:1 for the first argument, !:2 forthe second argument, etc.

From bash(1):

Event Designators

An event designator is a reference to a command line entry in the
history list. Unless the reference is absolute, events are relative
to the current position in the history list.

! Start a history substitution, except when followed by a blank,
newline, carriage return, = or ( (when the extglob shell option is
enabled using the shopt builtin).


Word Designators

Word designators are used to select desired words from the event.
A : separates the event specification from the word designator. [..]

n The n-th word.
^ The first argument. That is, word 1.
$ The last word. This is usually the last argument, but will
expand to the zeroth word if there is only one word in the line.

Answered By: Lekensteyn

These other lads are just making life complicated, here it is:

eval {mkdir,cd} FOLDER;
Answered By: Sean D

I think creating a function is the most appropriate way to do this, but just for listing all alternative ways, you could write:

mkdir foo && cd "$_"

$_is a special parameter that holds the last argument of the previous command. The quote around $_ make sure it works even if the folder name contains spaces.

Why use double quotes?

In some shells, such as zsh, the double quotes surrounding the $_ are not necessary even when the directory name contains spaces. They are required for this command to work in bash, however.

For example, running this command in bash 3.2.57 on macOS 10.13.6:

mkdir "my directory" && cd $_

results in this output:

bash: cd: my: No such file or directory

However, if we surround $_ with double quotes, the command returns successfully.

bash-3.2$ mkdir "my directory" && cd "$_"
bash-3.2$ echo $?
Answered By: Zajn
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