pwd – Wikipedia

In Unix-like and some other operating systems, the pwd command (print working directory)[1][2][3] writes the full pathname of the current working directory to the standard output.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]


Multics had a pwd command (which was a short name of the print_wdir command)[11] from which the Unix pwd command originated.[12] The command is a shell builtin in most Unix shells such as Bourne shell, ash, bash, ksh, and zsh. It can be implemented easily with the POSIX C functions getcwd() or getwd().

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It is also available in the operating systems SpartaDOS X,[13] PANOS,[14] and KolibriOS.[15] The equivalent on DOS (COMMAND.COM) and Microsoft Windows (cmd.exe) is the cd command with no arguments. Windows PowerShell provides the equivalent Get-Location cmdlet with the standard aliases gl and pwd. On Windows CE 5.0, the cmd.exe Command Processor Shell includes the pwd command.[16]

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pwd as found on Unix systems is part of the X/Open Portability Guide since issue 2 of 1987. It was inherited into the first version of POSIX.1 and the Single Unix Specification.[17] It appeared in Version 5 Unix.[18] The version of pwd bundled in GNU coreutils was written by Jim Meyering.[19]

The numerical computing environments MATLAB and GNU Octave include a pwd function with similar functionality.[20][21] The OpenVMS equivalent is show default.

*nix examples[edit]

Command Explanation
pwd Display the current working directory. Example: /home/foobar
pwd -P Display the current working directory physical path – without symbolic link name, if any. Example: If standing in a dir /home/symlinked, that is a symlink to /home/realdir, this would show /home/realdir
pwd -L Display the current working directory logical path – with symbolic link name, if any. Example: If standing in a dir /home/symlinked, that is a symlink to /home/realdir, this would show /home/symlinked

Note: POSIX requires that the default behavior be as if the -L switch were provided.

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Working directory shell variables[edit]

POSIX shells set the following environment variables while using the cd command:[22]

The previous working directory (as set by the cd command).
The current working directory (as set by the cd command).

See also[edit]

  • Breadcrumb (navigation), an alternative way of displaying the work directory
  • List of GNU Core Utilities commands
  • List of Unix commands
  • pushd and popd


Further reading[edit]

  • McElhearn, Kirk (2006). The Mac OS X Command Line: Unix Under the Hood. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0925956547.

External links[edit]

  • pwd – Commands & Utilities Reference, The Single UNIX Specification, Issue 7 from The Open Group
  • pwd(1) – FreeBSD General Commands Manual
  • pwd(1) – NetBSD General Commands Manual
  • pwd(1) – OpenBSD General Commands Manual
  • pwd(1) – Solaris 10 User Commands Reference Manual
  • pwd(1) – Linux User Commands Manual
  • pwd(1) – Plan 9 Programmer’s Manual, Volume 1
  • pwd(1) – Inferno General commands Manual

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