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

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?

1 Like

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.

It’s impossible to reference an image if you are visually impaired.

I also started in comedy at the beginning of the exercise but switched to movies/ when it was specified in the lesson that that is where I should be, but yeah I was definitely confused because the task was to get to terminator.txt in one line which I don’t know how to do from comedy.

Same issue, I start in the comedy folder and it will not accept ../action/scifi/terminator.txt ut it will accept the full path cat /home/ccuser/workspace/movies/action/scifi/terminator.txt

It feels like a bug one way or the other (unless cat can only be used with a full path?).


This error persists, 10 months later. Throughout these cli exercises, there are conflicts between the information output by the terminal and the behavior of the exercise. These should not have gone live in this condition, and they should not stay live.


Definitely. You’re in the comedy directory from the previous exercise, not the movies directory as the hint insists. For the first part, if you say “cat action/scifi/terminator.txt” you’ll pass the objective but get the wrong output; if you start the directory path with …/ you’ll get the correct output but fail the objective. It’s a problem on Codecademy’s side that seems like it should be a really easy fix.


I also don’t understand why I wouldn’t be allowed to use the shortcut (…/) just after learning about it in the previous section, allowing me to combine learned skills. I think that’s just the way the exercise is hard scripted, allowing only one scenario to be correct. Pretty lazy.

hello everyone in the bash use the path code $cat action/scifi/terminator.txt

this will work

Thanks for your help. I kept typing

“cat action/home/ccuser/workspace/movies/action/scifi/terminator.txt”

It wouldn’t work and it made me so annoyed.

Obviously (but not until after), my problem was typing action twice as it was written in the example above.
“cat action/superwoman.txt”.

Wow learning’s fun.

Thanks again!

I am putting in the correct commands and I am getting the script printed in the command box but the program is not counting it as complete??