A filepath represents the location of a file or folder within a file system.
Generally you will be using filepaths when using Bash or a terminal in order to change your working/current directory or copy a file or whatever.
There are also other uses for filepaths. But I won't get into that stuff right now.
Important: Filepaths are case-sensitive. For example, "readme.txt" is not the same as "ReadMe.txt".
The root directory is the uppermost directory of any given computer disk. In other words, its a directory without a parent.
For example, when using a Mac, doubling clicking on the Macintosh HD icon will open the root directory for your main hard disk. And within that directory are all the top-level files and directories on your drive (e.g. Applications, Users, etc.).
Note: Like many Linux commands, the instructs provided in this tutorial can be used for the macOS Terminal.
A single forward slash (
/) without any other characters, reprsents the root directory.
When using Bash or a terminal you can access your root directory by simply tying "cd /" regardless of your current/working directory.
Access the parent directory of your current directory using "..".
A relative filepath is based on the current/working directory.
If your current directory contains a folder called "books" and you want to navigate to that directory. The relative filepath would a dot and a forward slash "./" followed by the name of the directory you want to access.
Alternatively, you could simply write the name of the directory. However, this may not be supported on all computers/servers.
Directory names with spaces
Directories often have names with spaces (e.g. "My Documents").
A filepath with blank spaces needs to be wrapped in quotation marks.
cd "My Documents"
Mac and Linux use forward slashes ("/") for filepaths, but Windows uses backslashes ("").