I'm trying to set something up on a server I run, when ever I cd into a public_html folder 95% of the time there's a few commands I will always run to check certain things.

Is there anyway I can hook into cd so if the directory is a public_html, it will automatically run the commands for me?

If I can't hook into the cd command, are there any other things I could do to achieve the outcome I'm after?

I'm running CentOS 5.8.


You could add this function to your .bashrc or other startup file (depending on your shell).

cd() {      
   if [ "$1" = "public_html" ]; then
      echo "current dir is my dir"
   builtin cd "$1"
  • Ooh, this looks interesting. I've added this to my .bash_profile, and added a echo "Testing..." just above the if, but nothings output. Do I need do something to apply these changes? – TMH Nov 27 '14 at 13:19
  • @TomHart If you didn't start a new session then you have to source the file into your current session by . ~/.bash_profile – UVV Nov 27 '14 at 13:20
  • @TomHart it seems there's no /bin/cd in my CentOS, so this solution might not going to work – UVV Nov 27 '14 at 13:32
  • I've just noticed that now. I found this question which states why unix.stackexchange.com/questions/116955/where-is-cd-located. Still a good solution for system that actually have a /bin/cd though :). – TMH Nov 27 '14 at 13:33
  • 1
    Does not work if you cd -P public_html or cd ~/public_html or has unexpected behaviour if you can't cd into public_html. – Stéphane Chazelas Nov 27 '14 at 16:01

With ksh or bash (or zsh):

cd() {
  builtin cd "$@" || return
  [ "$OLDPWD" = "$PWD" ] || case $PWD in
      (*/public_html) echo do something

With zsh:

  case $PWD in
    (*/public_html) echo do something

(chpwd is a hook function that is called whenever the current working directory changes (by way of cd, pushd, popd...)).


I am not a bash expert but I would take @UVV's answer and modify it just a little so that it does this:

  • instead of checking for public_html, I'd just check for some hook-script file in the target dir $1, say, cd_hook.sh.
  • if that hook-script exists, run it, and move on with the cd

This seems more generic because you'd then be able to apply the cd-hook to any directory if you so choose, by just adding a cd_hook.sh in the said directory.

  • 2
    It seems generic, but you're introducing a security vulnerability. Someone or something only needs to plant a hook-script in /tmp for instance to make you run any code the next time you cd there. You'd want at least to make sure that the hook-script is owned by you, not a symlink, not writable by anyone other than you, that the directory it's in is only writable by you... See Keeping history per working directory (cf. per shell session) for a safer approach. – Stéphane Chazelas Jan 14 '16 at 12:35
  • Thanks for the security insight @StéphaneChazelas. I have to admit I didn't even think about it. – lost-and-found Jan 29 '16 at 12:42
  • I found this question while doing just that: if I cd somewhere, check for a .bashcd file and run it if it exists. – DarkWiiPlayer Dec 23 '18 at 20:36

Using powerful zsh approach in bash:

First an easy way to extend bash:


#load all scripts inside $1 dir

    for script in $1/*; do

        # skip non-executable snippets
        [ -f "$script" ] && [ -x "$script" ] || continue

        # execute $script in the context of the current shell
        . $script

Include in to .bashrc:

. ~/.run_scripts

run_scripts ~/.bashrc.d

You can create ~/.bashrc.d/cdhook with:


chpwd() {
  : #no action

cd() {      
   builtin cd $1
   chpwd $1

Now is up to you to replace the function:

#list files after cd
chpwd() {
  ls -lah --color

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