The Bash Navigator File System Browsing Utility 1.0

A screenshot of Bash Navigator in 



The Bash Navigator (BN) file system browsing utility is a single BASH shell script that will save you time by making browsing your file system as easy as surfing the internet, while providing additional functionality not typical of graphical file system browsers. Because BN is implemented as a set of ordinary, BASH-compatible shell functions, BN does not impose a "layer of stupidity" between you and the shell. It enhances the functionality without in any way inhibiting the flexibility of the standard Linux command shell.


Bash Navigator has been made available under the terms of the GNU Public License (GPL)



Some Features


BashNavigator (BN) allows you to bookmark directories on your local file system by typing a single, user modifiable, key (the default is g for "go")in place of the usual cd command. Once you have placed a set of directories on the navigation list, you may move quickly to any listed directory simply by choosing its number (the default syntax for this "choose" operation is c <directory number> typically three keystrokes). The forward/back and next/previous movement commands familiar to most users of web browsers are also supported in the form of single keystroke commands (respectively f, b, n, and p by default.) Additional commands allow the deletion from the navigation list of selected directories (syntax: d followed by the number of the directory to delete from the list), saving of the current list to a named file in a centralized location (syntax: s <filename>), merging of saved navigation lists into the current list (syntax: m <filename>), and extraction or "taking" (syntax: t n_1 [ n_2 ...] ) of directories in the form of newline delimited lists. See the help (at the bottom of the bn script and accessible via the h command) for a complete list of user commands. Since all user commands are BASH shell aliases for script-defined functions, it is trivial to modify the default BN syntax to suit your needs.

Sample Usage

From a clean shell, type:

. bn Sources Bash Navigator command script.
l Displays current navigation list.
g <directory1> Takes you there.
g <directory2> Takes you there.
b Takes you back to <directory1>.
f Go forward (undo back)
g <directory3> Takes you there.
g <directory4> Takes you there.
bnhome Go to your BN home directory.
s <memorable name> Save the directory list to your home directory. You don't need to be in the home directory to do this.
ls List directory files in your home directory.
cat <memorable name> Verify that the list has been written
rst Clear the navigation list.
m <memorable name> merge (restore) the new directory file into the navigation list.
n Cycle forward (next).
n Cycle forward (next).
p Cycle back (previous)
p Cycle back (previous)
h Print the help.


  1. Bash Navigator must first be RUN for installation purposes and subsequently SOURCED from the shell instance in which you wish to use it.

  2. Unfortunately, BN is not platform independent. This limitation is due in large part to the syntactical overhead imposed by the requirement that a platform independent Bourne shell compatible script must use the 'expr' builtin function for even the most trivial of mathematical operations, such as the incrementing and decrementing of array indices.

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Author: Ben Tompkins Logo