DirB, Directory Bookmarks for Bash

 in
Inspired by browser bookmarks, DirB allows you to create directory bookmarks for moving around faster on the command line.
Going to a Specified Directory

Now it's possible to move to a directory using cd or g. Wouldn't it be simpler to have one way that worked for both bookmarks and directory paths? Of course it would. So, DirB's g command has been extended to be able to replace cd fully:

% pwd
/home/Desktop
% g /tmp
% pwd
/tmp

The g command behaves the same as the cd command if the first character of the argument is a period (.) or if the argument is not the name of a saved bookmark. The special case of the first character being a period allows you to move to a current subdirectory that has the same name as a previously saved bookmark:

% cd /tmp
% mkdir d
% g ./d
% pwd
/tmp/d

If you use the command: g d instead of g ./d above, DirB takes you to your desktop, as a bookmark for the desktop with the name of d already exists.

If the argument to g is the relative or absolute path of a directory and there is no bookmark by that name, you are taken to the specified path:

% cd /tmp
% mkdir subdir
% g subdir
% pwd
/tmp/subdir

As with the cd command, if you enter the g command without an argument, you go to your home directory:

% cd /tmp
% g
% pwd
/home

Traveling with Relatives

Most of the source code directories I work in are organized with the same layout. From the application's source code directory, I frequently need to refer to header files in my standard library. These headers are located two directories up and two directories down in the filesystem: ../../stdlib/inc.

DirB can save relative bookmarks or bookmarks of any specified path. It is not necessary to be in the directory to be bookmarked. A longer version of the s command can be used to specify a bookmark's path:

% g projA
% pwd
/home/projectA/source/application/main
% s stdh ../../stdlib/inc
% g stdh
% pwd
/home/projectA/source/stdlib/inc

Once the relative bookmark has been created with the s command, relative movements can be made easily from anywhere that the relative path exists:

% g projB
% pwd
/home/projectB/source/application/main
% g stdh
% pwd
/home/projectB/source/application/main

This longer version of the s command sets a full path directory bookmark without changing to the target directory first:

% g projA
% pwd
/home/projectA/source/application/main
% s t /tmp
% pwd
/home/projectA/source/application/main
% d t
/tmp

Note that the current working directory was not changed by the s command and that the bookmark was set to the argument of the s command and not the current directory. The bookmark can be used later, the same as simpler bookmarks:

% g t
% pwd
/tmp

Manipulating the Directory Stack

As the g command extends Bash's built-in cd command, DirB has the p command to extend the shell's pushd command and also replaces the most common usage of the shell's popd command.

In its most-used form, the p command changes to a new directory, while remembering the current directory on a stack. The state of the directory stack then is printed:

% g
% pwd
/home
% p /tmp
/tmp
~

The tilde (~) is Bash's shortcut for the home directory. The target just as easily can be a bookmark:

% p d
~/Desktop
/tmp
~

The directory stack listing is done with one directory per line, instead of the default listing style of pushd with all the directories printed across the line. This is a personal preference and is accomplished by discarding the output from the invoked pushd command and then running a dirs -p command afterward.

Except for bookmark targets and the target dash (-), the p command works just as Bash's pushd command. In fact, all the real work is accomplished, behind the scenes, by pushd. So the normal pushd behavior, as well as the enhanced bookmark functionality, is valid (and useful):

% p directory   # adds dir to top of dir stack
% p bookmark    # adds bookmark to dir stack
% p             # swaps top two stack entries
% p +n          # rotate nth entry from top to top
% p -n          # rotate nth entry from bottom to top

To rotate the directory stack, so that the bottom directory moves to the top of the stack as the current directory, use p -0. In addition to replacing pushd, the p command also can replace the shell's popd command in its simplest form:

% g
% pwd
/home
% p /tmp
/tmp
~
% p -
~

If the full functionality of the popd command is needed, the standard popd command (along with pushd and cd) still is available and can be used alongside the DirB commands.

To get a listing of the current directory stack, the shell's dirs command works as it did before DirB.

______________________

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

you can just add in your

Anonymous's picture

you can just add in your .bash_profile

export hello=~/tmp/hello
source .bash_profile
cd $hello

you can still use the tab to autocomplete

done

you can just add in your

Keith Daniels's picture

Thanks...

I knew I could export directories like that but it never dawned on me that autocomplete would still work.... duh. One track mind....

When I tested this, I could not get autocomplete to work with cd. It would work with ls or any other program except cd. Dont' know why, probably some bashrc or profile setting I used is blocking it.

----

BTW I just noticed something about using cd in Ubuntu Maverick that I "think" is a new (or just something I never noticed ) feature:

If you have a sub-directory called ~/test/test and when using cd you mistakenly type:

cd ~/text/text

It will take you to ~/test/test -- instead of giving you an error message -- if that is the only directory with similar spelling on you computer.

Personally I think that is wonderful...

Keith

"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone.
My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone."
-- Bjarne Stroustrup

Yes...! Something I never could figure out how to do...

Keith Daniels's picture

Something I always wanted and never could figure out how to do...

Good Idea!
Great Post!
Excellent Explanation!

Thanks.

"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone.
My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone."
-- Bjarne Stroustrup

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState