Installing and Using the rupa/z Shell Script

2 minute read Published

Navigate Nix-based filesystems fast using the frecency algorithm.

rupa/z is an amazing shell script that allows users to traverse a filesystem in no time flat. Use it if you spend any time at all changing directories in a *nix environment. It will improve productivity and spare fat fingers quite a bit of backpedaling.

z can be installed by curling the script, making it available in path and sourcing it, e.g.

cd /usr/local/bin && \
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/rupa/z/master/z.sh && \
chmod 775 z.sh && \
. /usr/local/bin/z.sh
Note: Add the source command (the last one above) to your $HOME/.bashrc or $HOME/.zshrc so z is available each time the terminal emulator is opened.

Try it out by changing to a few of your most commonly used directories and then issuing the z command, e.g.

cd /usr/share/nginx/www && \
cd ~ && \
z www

While you’re at it, checkout the shorthand ls feature in zsh. It enables typing fuzzy ls path parts like ls /u/l/dtra, and pressing Tab twice to arrive at /usr/lib/dtrace. Use chsh -s /bin/zsh set zsh as your default shell to try it out. You can try it out along with z using my dotfiles.

Speed up your workflow with rupa/z and other time-saving affordances to benefit from less repetition and more time doing the stuff you love.

Thanks to Paul Irish, who demoed rupa/z at Fluent 2012 in San Francisco.

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