FAQ: Manipulation - cat

This community-built FAQ covers the “cat” exercise from the lesson “Manipulation”.

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This exercise can be found in the following Codecademy content:

Web Development

Learn the Command Line

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I was able to pass the exercise, but why does the command “$cat comedy/satire/fight-club.txt” return “No such file or directory exists”?


Instruction one in the exercise reads:
"In a single command, use cat to output what’s inside terminator.txt .

Note: To accomplish this in one command, make sure you are writing a relative path from the current directory, movies/ ."

Here was my location:

$ pwd

This was my first solution which appeared to yield the correct results but it was not accepted, but the solution below was accepted. Does this have to do with the part relating to "writing a relative path from the current directory, movies/ "?

$ cat ../action/scifi/terminator.txt
$ cat /home/ccuser/workspace/movies/action/scifi/terminator.txt

Similar question for Instruction two (I remained in the same location as above):
"In a single command, use cat to output what’s inside fight-club.txt .

Note that there is nothing yet in the file, so the output should be empty."
Here was my first solution that appeared to yield the correct result but was not accepted, though the second one listed below was. Again is this because I was not in the right location?

$ cat satire/fight-club.txt
$ cat /home/ccuser/workspace/movies/comedy/satire/fight-club.txt
1 Like

Because you are already in the directory comedy, no directory named ‘comedy’ exists within the current directory.

The cat thingy, what is the correct answer?

Hi, I have the same problem and question. Do you happen to have the answer yet?

Based on the instructions it seems like you should be starting the movies/ directory. If you use pwd and find yourself in movies/comedy/ then I think moving back one directory with cd .. (putting you in movies/) is the best choice. The instructions only make sense if you current working directory is movies/ (you shouldn’t fail your task for simply moving to the directory the instructions want you to be in).

Once your working directory is movies/ then using a relative path from the movies/ directory should hopefully be enough to meet the requirements for that test.

It seems odd you’re not put directly into movies/ at the start of this lesson, is that the case?

Yes, my working directory was


Like the post from jlk1023, I tried with cat …/action and etc, but it didn’t work even though I got the correct result.

Seems wrong that you’d start in a different directory, I’ll try raising it as an issue to cc. Did you try changing to movies/ first using cd and then doing the tasks involving cat?

I’m not sure. I think I tried and it didn’t work, that’s why I searched for help here. But I’m sure that the current working directory didn’t change at all, not only for that specific task

I found using pwd to be really helpful in figuring out where I was and where I needed to be in order to write the code exactly the way the exercise requires.