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I was asked the question "what does the cd /etc command do?". This is my answer:

This command cd /etc changes directory to the directory specified after the slash /. The /etc refers to a folder in the root called etc. If the linux user was inside the /etc folder, typing cd / would bring the user to the root.

Is my understanding correct?

  • What if /etc is a symlink? – Andy Dalton Mar 28 '16 at 21:53
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The command

cd /etc

will change the current directory to "/etc" - i.e. the etc directory in the root (or /) directory.

In your answer the part about "after the slash" is wrong and the part about "if the user were in..." is right but irrelevant to the question.

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You may wish to consult the manual page for a shell (e.g. man bash or man sh) for a precise definition of the semantics of cd to work on – depending on the audience for your answer, there are some special cases which your wording does not consider. Even so, cd /etc changes to the directory called /etc. It does not "change to the directory specified after the slash", as (strictly read) this would imply that it would change to a subdirectory "etc" located beneath the current directory.

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