cd ?dirName?

Change the current directory (as returned by pwd) to the given directory. If dirName is omitted, change to the user's home directory (or whatever is listed in the ::env(HOME) variable).


man page


cd stands for change directory. This sets a kernel specific piece of information regarding what files within a filesystem the application will see if they use relative pathnames (that is to say, pathnames either beginning with ./ , ../ , or without any leading directory indicatory).

This kernel value is a unique value per process - changing it in one process won't change it in other existing processes.

frequently-made mistake is to attempt to [[exec] the cd command.

AMG: Here's an exception. [[exec]'ing cd is actually correct when the "cd" in question comes from the [1 ] package, in which everything'' is accomplished through Bernstein chaining. See execline for documentation on this variant of cd.

Stacking cd

The following overloaded version keeps a stack of visited directories (implicit "pushd"). The "popd" functionality fires if called as "cd -":

if {[info command tcl::cd]==""} {rename cd tcl::cd}
proc cd {{dir ""}} {
    global cd_stack
    if {$dir=="-"} {
        set dir [lindex $cd_stack end]
        set cd_stack [lrange $cd_stack 0 end-1]
    } else {
       if {$dir==""} {set dir $::env(HOME)}
       lappend cd_stack [pwd]
    tcl::cd $dir
} ;# RS

A variant with a little more error checking, an no reliance on env(HOME):

if {[llength [info command tcl::cd]] == 0} { rename cd tcl::cd }
proc cd {{dir {}}} {
    variable tcl::cd_lastdir
    set pwd [pwd]
    if {$dir eq "-"} {
        if {![info exists cd_lastdir]} { return }
        set dir $cd_lastdir
    } elseif {[llength [info level 0]] == 1} {
        # no $dir specified - go home
        set code [catch {tcl::cd } res]
    if {![info exists code]} {
        set code [catch {tcl::cd $dir} res]
    if {!$code} { set cd_lastdir $pwd }
    return -code $code $res
}; # JH

MCR However, the tcl::cd command does not change the Windows Drive letter. To do that XXX.

AM You mean, you expect it to behave as:

% pwd
% cd d:
% pwd
% cd c:

So, changing the drive would get you back to the previous directory on that drive?

The ordinary cd command does not do that - "cd c:" is treated as "cd c:/". (Personally I find it a trifle annoying to have to run two commands in a DOS-box to go to a different directory on a different drive ...)

RS: Oh, with an extra "/d" option you can in cmd.exe:

H:\>cd /d d:/Tcl


With a bit of work you can have the behaviour you want though :).