Unix pwd – print working directory Command explained with examples

pwd is Unix command to Print Current Working directory. You may find it referred as Present Working Directory in some books.

Syntax:

pwd [options]…

Below are the options:

  • -L – logical use PWD from environment, even if it contains symlinks
  • -P – physic avoid all symlinks
  • –help – display this help and exit
  • –version  – output version information and exit

pwd is shell built-in as well as function. If the shell has its own version it supersedes function shell.

Run below command to check pwd command path and type.

$ type -a pwd
pwd is a shell builtin
pwd is /bin/pwd

-L and –P options are applicable to pwd shell built-in. /bin/pwd supports all above four options. Check below example for details.

Let’s create a symbolic link to a directory to demonstrated -L and -P option.

Physical Directory: /home/atech/physical_dir

Logical Directory:/Home/atech/logical_dir. It is symbolic directory pointing to Physical Dir

$ls -l *cal_dir*
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 atech admin 12 Oct 24 09:15 logical_dir -> physical_dir
physical_dir:
total 0

Example 1:

$ cd logical_dir
$ pwd
/home/atech/logical_dir
$ echo $PWD
/home/atech/logical_dir
$ pwd -L
/home/atech/logical_dir
$ pwd -P
/home/atech/physical_dir

Example 2:

$ pwd --help
-bash: pwd: --: invalid option
pwd: usage: pwd [-LP]

You can clearly see –help is not supported for pwd as it is shell built-in. Let’s see /bin/pwd

Example 3:

/bin/pwd --help
Usage: /bin/pwd [OPTION]...
Print the full filename of the current working directory.
-L, --logical use PWD from environment, even if it contains symlinks
-P, --physical avoid all symlinks
--help display this help and exit
--version output version information and exit
NOTE: your shell may have its own version of pwd, which usually supersedes
the version described here. Please refer to your shell's documentation
for details about the options it supports.
Report pwd bugs to [email protected]
GNU coreutils home page: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/>
General help using GNU software: <http://www.gnu.org/gethelp/>
For complete documentation, run: info coreutils 'pwd invocation'

Example 4:

$ /bin/pwd --version
pwd (GNU coreutils) 8.4
Copyright (C) 2010 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
Written by Jim Meyering.

 

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