Add a shortcut in Terminal to your favourite folders

While I study in the Web Development Immersive course at General Assembly, I regularly visit a particular folder of mine called WDI7. I keep this folder in my Dropbox for safe keeping. However, every time I open a new terminal, I have to navigate down to this folder. This is proving to be a bit of a boring/repetitive task.

So, to fix this problem, I decided to create an alias to effectively shortcut to this folder. Below are instructions showing how to add a shortcut into your terminal so you can cut down on keystrokes. These instructions are for Mac but may work for Linux too.

First up, I navigate to the folder in question and perform a pwd command:

pwd
=> /Users/my_username/Dropbox/stuff/2016/WDI-7

I copy this or take note for later.

Next up we need to open the .bash_aliases file which allows users to shortcut commands in terminal. This file may be called .bashrc in Linux, and is located in the ~ home directory.

Open it in your editor of choice, mine being Atom:

atom ~/.bash_aliases

Now we need to create an alias to the command we are constantly undertaking. I have decided to call the alias wdi because I have no other programs running off that command and it’s unlikely to clash with anything else.

To create the alias, I add this line to the bash_aliases file, hit save and quit fully out and then restart the terminal app.

alias wdi="cd /Users/my_username/Dropbox/stuff/2016/WDI-7"

Now every time I type in wdi I get redirected into my WDI-7 folder. Easy!

wdi
pwd
=> /Users/my_username/Dropbox/stuff/2016/WDI-7

However, I like the idea of being shown my directory once I run the command. To do this I normally would run another pwd. To append this to the alias, all I have to do is modify the code as follows:

alias wdi="cd /Users/my_username/Dropbox/stuff/2016/WDI-7; pwd"

Now each time I run wdi, I am taken to my directory and I am reminded that I am here! Pretty useful!

Niall
20/05/2016