bash run - How to set current working directory to the directory of the script?

shell inside (9)

The following also works:

cd "${0%/*}"

The syntax is thoroughly described in this StackOverflow answer.

I'm writing a bash script. I need the current working directory to always be the directory that the script is located in.

The default behavior is that the current working directory in the script is that of the shell from which I run it, but I do not want this behavior.

Try the following simple one-liners:

For all UNIX/OSX/Linux

dir=$(cd -P -- "$(dirname -- "$0")" && pwd -P)

Note: A double dash (--) is used in commands to signify the end of command options, so files containing dashes or other special characters won't break the command.

For Linux, Mac and other *BSD:

cd $(dirname $(realpath $0))

With white spaces support:

cd "$(dirname "$(realpath "$0")")";

Note: realpath should be installed in the most popular Linux distribution by default (like Ubuntu), but in some it can be missing, so you have to install it.

Otherwise you could try something like that (it will use the first existing tool):

cd $(dirname $(readlink -f $0 || realpath $0))

For Linux specific:

cd $(dirname $(readlink -f $0))

Using GNU readlink on *BSD/Mac:

cd $(dirname $(greadlink -f $0))

Note: You need to have coreutils installed (e.g. 1. Install Homebrew, 2. brew install coreutils).

In bash

In bash you can use Parameter Expansions to achieve that, like:

cd ${0%/*}

but it doesn't work if the script is run from the same directory.

Alternatively you can define the following function in bash:

realpath () {
  [[ $1 = /* ]] && echo "$1" || echo "$PWD/${1#./}"

This function takes 1 argument. If argument has already absolute path, print it as it is, otherwise print $PWD variable + filename argument (without ./ prefix).

or here is the version taken from Debian .bashrc file:

function realpath()
    [email protected]
    if [ -d "$f" ]; then
        base="/$(basename "$f")"
        dir=$(dirname "$f")
    dir=$(cd "$dir" && /bin/pwd)
    echo "$dir$base"


See also:

How can I get the behavior of GNU's readlink -f on a Mac?

cd "`dirname $(readlink -f ${0})`"

The accepted answer works well for scripts that have not been symlinked elsewhere, such as into $PATH.

cd "$(dirname "$0")"

However if the script is run via a symlink,

ln -sv ~/project/ ~/bin/; 

This will cd into the ~/bin/ directory and not the ~/project/ directory, which will probably break your script if the purpose of the cd is to include dependencies relative to ~/project/

The symlink safe answer is below:

cd "$(dirname "$(readlink -f "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}")")"

readlink -f is required to resolve the absolute path of the potentially symlinked file.

The quotes are required to support filepaths that could potentially contain whitespace (bad practice, but its not safe to assume this won't be the case)

echo $PWD

PWD is an environment variable.

If you just need to print present working directory then you can follow this.

$ vim test

:wq to save the test file.

Give execute permission:

chmod u+x test

Then execute the script by ./test then you can see the present working directory.

This script seems to work for me:

mypath=`realpath $0`
cd `dirname $mypath`

The pwd command line echoes the location of the script as the current working directory no matter where I run it from.

I'm surprised that the realpath command hasn't been mentioned here. My understanding is that it is widely portable / ported.

Your initial solution becomes:

SCRIPT=`realpath $0`

And to leave symbolic links unresolved per your preference:

SCRIPT=`realpath -s $0`

bash path scripting