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I just don't know if it's possible and how to cd for example in a dir that is not named with latin characters.

Example: $ cd άλφα or $ cd альфа

Update: In a terminal it is ok, but in a CLI environment not.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, of course it's possible as long as directories with these names exists.

The simple way:


How I made:

  • I ran ls command in the parent directory where a directory what is named with non-latin characters.
  • With the mouse, I selected the name of the directory (nothing more).
  • I typed cd followed by a Space then I pressed Shift+Insert and, of course Enter(again, nothing more).

If you can't use the mouse, see this quick tutorial.

The right way:

  • Add the new keyboard layouts that you need (greek, russian,...)

    • Go in System settingsPersonalKeyboard Layout and add a new layout:

      add new keyboard layout

  • When you type in terminal, switch between layouts to type in what language do you wish.

For tty1 (where you can go with Ctrl+Alt+F1) - and not only - I found another trick:

~ $ ls 
bin         Desktop    file.gif  nohup.out  Sent to Ubuntu One  ttyrecord  άλφα
Descărcări  Documente  Muzică    Poze       tmp.txt             Video
~ $ ls > tmp.txt # redirect the output of 'ls' command to 'tmp.txt' file
~ $ cat tmp.txt
Sent to Ubuntu One
~ $ # our directory is on line 13 (in my case); we will use this number in next command
~ $ cat tmp.txt | sed -n 13p
~ $ cd $(cat tmp.txt | sed -n 13p)
~/άλφα $ # voila
~/άλφα > rm -v ../tmp.txt
removed ‘../tmp.txt’
~/άλφα $
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Radu Radeanu , I have one question about. I made that, but now i dont know how to change the language to use , i need to use two different languages , spanish and russian. Ihave been instaled , but i need an easy way to change each time. thanks – user193173 Sep 15 '13 at 17:57
What about when I use CLI (Alt+Ctrl+[F1-F6]) and not a terminal? Every non-latin named dir appears like "WTF"! – Nikos Gr Sep 15 '13 at 19:22
@NikosGr I mentioned about this in the answer: If you can't use the mouse, see this quick tutorial.. In my tty, each greek character appear normally. – Radu Rădeanu Sep 15 '13 at 19:25
But what's the point to use the mouse if after the $ ls command every greek named dir appears like chinese? Will it work? (That's happening only when I am in tty1-6) – Nikos Gr Sep 15 '13 at 19:29
@NikosGr See my new edits. – Radu Rădeanu Sep 15 '13 at 19:53

A possibility to avoid having to do that at all: sudo apt-get install nautilus-open-terminal

This adds an "Open in Terminal" item to the File menu and the right-click context menu (when no file is selected) in Nautilus. i.e.: Navigate to the offending folder in Nautilus and then File,Open in Terminal.

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You could use zsh as your default terminal (if you do, I'd suggest getting oh-my-zsh as well for extra goodies). zsh tab-complete allows you 'scroll' through the contents of a directory by pressing tab. You can see a what I'm talking about at 0:53 in this video:

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