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Old 10-17-2003, 05:46 PM   #1
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dot and dot dot

Sorry if you get these questions regularly, but this is such a fast moving site that I can't keep track of all the action!!

Could anyone tell me the purpose of the "." and ".." special registers?

Old 10-17-2003, 05:51 PM   #2
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. is your current directory. For security, this is usually not on your path, so in order to run something from here, you need to type ./<file>

.. is the parent of your current directory. To move up, you type "cd .."

Basically, they make things much faster to type.

Old 10-17-2003, 05:52 PM   #3
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You refering to the "." and ".." that are shown if you do an ls -la yeah? If so its simply that "." represent your current directory, and ".." is the parent of your current directory. So say you did[code]cd /home/username/publc_html[/b]Then "." would be /home/username/public_html and ".." would be /home/username, and "../.." would be /home.

The only place this gets a little odd in the root directory ( / ) as the parent of / is / - so "." and ".." are in fact the same.

Does that make sense?



Last edited by jharris; 10-17-2003 at 05:54 PM.
Old 10-17-2003, 05:53 PM   #4
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Old 10-17-2003, 05:57 PM   #5
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This is actually a great question, because it helps to illustrate a basic point of the *nix file structure.

"." referes to the current directory. This is important, for example, when you are compiling software. Very often there is a configure script to configure how the software should be built. You would enter the command './configure' from within the source directory of the new software, and the "." indicates to the OS that the particular configure script you want to use is in the current directory.

".." points to the directory directly above working directory you are in at the time. So, if you drop down into your bin directory to edit one of your scripts and then want to go back to the next directory higher, you can type the command 'cd ..' to go there.



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