Test if a script can cd into a directory

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# 1  
Old 07-24-2013
Test if a script can cd into a directory

Is there a way for a bash script to test if it can cd into a directory without actually attempting to cd into it?

I am looking for something along the lines of:

if [ -d $dir ];then
     #code to execute

except in this case I don't want to test if the directory exists; what I want is to test if the script has the permission to cd into the directory.
I know there are other ways of achieving this but does bash provide a shortcut? Smilie
# 2  
Old 07-24-2013
A process can "cd" into a directory when it has execute-rights on it. Test simply if it is a directory AND if the x-bit is set for you:

if [ -d "$dir" -a -x "$dir" ] ; then
     # do something here

I hope this helps.

This User Gave Thanks to bakunin For This Post:
# 3  
Old 07-24-2013
You can also try:
if ( cd "$dir" 2>/dev/null )
then    # do something

If you want the diagnostic from cd if the cd failed, drop the redirection, or if you want a custom diagnostic add an else clause to your if statement. Performing the cd in a subshell will not affect the current working directory for the rest of this script.

Some people find this form easier to understand, but creating a subshell won't be as efficient as running
test -d "$dir" && test -x "$dir"

in the current shell execution environment.

Last edited by Don Cragun; 07-24-2013 at 08:40 PM.. Reason: match open and close CODE tags
This User Gave Thanks to Don Cragun For This Post:
# 4  
Old 07-24-2013
Just test $?. If it's zero, the "cd" worked.
# 5  
Old 07-24-2013
I vote for
test -d "$dir"/.

This fosters an autofs mount or an AFS volume mount, so is as safe as an actual cd. No need for an additional test -x.
These 3 Users Gave Thanks to MadeInGermany For This Post:
# 6  
Old 07-24-2013
Originally Posted by MadeInGermany
No need for an additional test -x.
That's insufficient. If all but the final path component have execute/search permission, the stat() syscall for test -d succeeds, but the chdir() syscall for cd fails.


Last edited by alister; 07-24-2013 at 11:06 PM..
# 7  
Old 07-24-2013
ok. insightful -- doing the cd in a subshell. thanks!

---------- Post updated at 02:14 AM ---------- Previous update was at 02:13 AM ----------

exactly what i was hoping to find. thanks.
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