I'm using Emacs on Windows.

I also have a VirtualBox VM that I connect to using plink.

But then, when I use the eshell, and I do cd <some folder> it tells me No such directory found via CDPATH environment variable even though I started the eshell from a dired buffer and directly typed cd folder.

I think the key is to make this variable command-line-default-directory follow the directory where the buffer is opened at?

Just to reiterate my question, suppose I'm in C://plink:<username>@<ip>:/home/asti/folder, I want to be able to type cd foldername and not get the error No such directory found via CDPATH environment variable.

  • I wasn't able to reproduce this on my GNU/Linux machine. (I opened dired to a directory on my VM using Tramp, and then did M-x eshell. I was able to cd successfully.) What version of Emacs are you using? Commented May 11, 2015 at 18:47
  • Hi Scott. I use 24.5.1
    – Jenia Ivanov
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 19:06
  • Does the error occur when you start Emacs with emacs -Q? Commented May 11, 2015 at 19:22
  • Hi Scott. Yes, it's the same when I use the -Q option. I opened emacs with the -Q option. And did M-x : and typed (setq tramp-default-method "plink") and did C-x C-f /username@<ip>:. Then I opened the eshell and did cd .. and got the error: No such directory found via CDPATH environment variabl Commented May 13, 2015 at 16:47
  • By the way, I use windows as the host machine, I think that is why. Commented May 13, 2015 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


I solved this with the following overloaded function:

(defun cd (dir)
  "Make DIR become the current buffer's default directory.
If your environment includes a `CDPATH' variable, try each one of
that list of directories (separated by occurrences of
`path-separator') when resolving a relative directory name.
The path separator is colon in GNU and GNU-like systems."
    ;; FIXME: There's a subtle bug in the completion below.  Seems linked
    ;; to a fundamental difficulty of implementing `predicate' correctly.
    ;; The manifestation is that TAB may list non-directories in the case where
    ;; those files also correspond to valid directories (if your cd-path is (A/
    ;; B/) and you have A/a a file and B/a a directory, then both `a' and `a/'
    ;; will be listed as valid completions).
    ;; This is because `a' (listed because of A/a) is indeed a valid choice
    ;; (which will lead to the use of B/a).
        (lambda ()
          (setq minibuffer-completion-table
                (apply-partially #'locate-file-completion-table
                                 cd-path nil))
          (setq minibuffer-completion-predicate
                (lambda (dir)
                  (locate-file dir cd-path nil
                               (lambda (f) (and (file-directory-p f) 'dir-ok))))))
      (unless cd-path
        (setq cd-path (or (parse-colon-path (getenv "CDPATH"))
                          (list "./"))))
      (read-directory-name "Change default directory: "
                           default-directory default-directory
  (unless cd-path
    (setq cd-path (or (parse-colon-path (getenv "CDPATH"))
                      (list "./"))))
   (or (locate-file dir (cons default-directory cd-path) nil
                    (lambda (f) (and (file-directory-p f) 'dir-ok)))
       (error "No such directory found via CDPATH environment variable"))))

This prepends, in the 3rd from last line, default-directory to the cdpath (default ("./")), which works around what appears to be a bug with Windows Emacs locate-file-internal. It may have unforseen side-effects!

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