The tilde “~” character is used by most terminal shells as shorthand for the user home directory.
The home directory is typically a safer place to write files than the system root directory, so ~ give a convenient way to refer to an absolute path generic across systems.
Many code languages require parsing the tilde, including Python, C++, Fortran and Matlab.
GNU Octave understands that
~ tilde is the user’s home directory on any operating system, even Windows.
Matlab does not consistently understand
~ as the user home directory, particularly on Windows.
We created expanduser.m that works on Linux, Mac and Windows.
returns the absolute path of the user home directory, for example: