• linux bash
  • pushd/popd/dirs


The problem scenario is very similar to the one stated in this question: removing or clearing stack of popd/pushd paths ... however the goal is not to clear the stack, but rather to prune it. Specifically, the pruning operation is to remove duplicates.


Is there a straightforward way to prune the output of dirs -v -p such that there are no duplicates in the stack?

  • 3
    In zsh, setopt pushd_ignore_dups makes this systematic. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 8 '16 at 22:34
  • 1
    @Gilles: yeah, all the cool kids keep telling me to use zsh ... – dreftymac Jun 8 '16 at 22:41

This function should remove dups.

    declare -a new=() copy=("${DIRSTACK[@]:1}")
    declare -A seen
    local v i
    for v in "${copy[@]}"
    do if [ -z "${seen[$v]}" ]
       then new+=("$v")
    dirs -c
    for ((i=${#new[@]}-1; i>=0; i--))
    do      builtin pushd -n "${new[i]}" >/dev/null

It copies the list of dirs, except the first which is bogus, into an array copy, and for each dir adds it to a new array if we have not already seen it (an associative array). This ensures older dup entries, which are later in the array, are not copied. The dir list is cleared, and the array is then pushd in reverse order.

The first bogus element of the dirs list is the current directory, which is unchanged. It is set in the seen array at the start to also get it removed if earlier in the dir list.

If you want to do this automatically, you can override pushd eg:

    builtin pushd "$@"
|improve this answer|||||
  • I suggest adding double quotes around $PWD and $v, in case you have directory names with spaces in them (lamentably common on some systems). – Keith Thompson Dec 6 '19 at 1:24
  • It doesn't seem to be necessary with bash in the particular case of an index in array[index]=..., but you are right that in general you should double-quote variables, and there is no harm in doing so in this case. – meuh Dec 6 '19 at 15:32
  • Also, in your pushd() function, the builtin pushd command prints the directory stack. In this case, it will print the stack before it's de-duplicated. Suggested change: pushd() { builtin pushd "$@" >/dev/null ; dedup ; dirs ; } (not tested). – Keith Thompson Dec 6 '19 at 18:32

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