I was wondering what this means? I know that CD stands for change directory does this take me to the home directory, if so what does $ mean?

closed as unclear what you're asking by chaos, Anthon, dhag, Eric Renouf, taliezin Oct 2 '15 at 15:50

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  • 4
    What about adding a little context here? Where did you see this? Is it part of a larger script? If so, show more :-) – garethTheRed Sep 14 '15 at 13:41
  • Gotta love people who downvote without specifying what's wrong with question or trying to improve it. – MatthewRock Sep 14 '15 at 14:45
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    That seems to be a prompt, not a command. What does cd have to do with it? – chepner Sep 14 '15 at 14:54

just a guess (if you are seeing this as a prompt).



  • user (tc) your username
  • host (box) hostname of your system
  • /path (/home) current working dir (replaced by ~ in you home dir)
  • X (usually $ or # ) whether your are non root ($) or root (#).

What you see is command line prompt. It usually looks more or less like this:


Last character(# or $) means you're either root, or non-root.

However, you can change the prompt. The value of the prompt is held under PS1 value:

echo $PS1

You will notice many strange characters. These are some formatting characters that allow you to input things like user name or hostname, instead of hard-coding them.

You can change it yourself, if you want:


Note how it won't change if you set it to some ordinary string. Changing it like so will only affect it temporary - will work for your current terminal session. You can add it to your .bashrc if you want to change it (almost) permanently.

More info about customization can be found here

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