I've been told to go to ~/.ssh and, actually, I did cd ~/.ssh and I got into it.

However, I'm wondering: what does the ~ mean in this context?


3 Answers 3


~ = $HOME = your home directory

The next commands will change to your home directory /home/david if your username is david:

cd ~
cd $HOME
cd /home/david
cd ~david
  • 5
    "change your home directory" -> "make the home directory the present work directory"
    – steabert
    Mar 28, 2011 at 12:47
  • also, typing cd will get you into your homefolder. Mar 28, 2011 at 16:14

You can also use ~username (no slash) to have it lookup the home directory of a user; that is, ~khamer resolves to /home/khamer, whereas ~david would resolve to /home/david regardless of who is typing the command.


If you type:

cd ~/

and hit TAB, the command should change to the actual path to your home folder. As far as I know, this works with pretty much any command that takes a path as an argument.

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