Python: File Path Manipulation

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Here's most frequently used functions for manipulating file/directory path.

Get Directory Path

os.path.dirname(path) → return the dir part of path. (result won't have ending slash, unless it's root dir.)

# python 3

import os.path

# get dir part of path
print(os.path.dirname("/home/aa/bb/ff.html"))
# /home/aa/bb

Get File Name Part of a Path

os.path.basename(path) → return the file name. Sample return value: "cat.jpg"

# python 3

import os.path

# get file name part of a path
print(os.path.basename("/home/aa/bb/ff.html"))
# ff.html

Split Directory Part, File Part

os.path.split(path) → return a 2-tuple. Split a path into dir part and file part. (note: result of dir part don't have ending slash, unless it's root dir.)

# python 3

# split path into dir part, file part

import os.path

fp = "/home/aa/bb/ff.html"

print(os.path.split(fp))
# ('/home/aa/bb', 'ff.html')

Get File Extension

os.path.splitext(path) → return a 2-tuple. Split a path into first part and file extension part.

# python 3

import os.path

x = os.path.splitext("/home/aa/bb/ff.html")

print(x)
# ('/home/aa/bb/ff', '.html')

# get file extension
print(x[1])
# .html

Check File Exists

os.path.exists(path) → Return True if the file exists, else False.

# python 3

# check if file exists

import os.path

print(os.path.exists("/home/"))
# True

Get Relative Path

os.path.relpath(path, dir) → return a relative path, of path with respect to dir. (Note: path existence is not checked.)

# python 3

# compute relative path

import os.path

print(os.path.relpath("/home/aa/bb/ff.html", "/home/aa/"))
# bb/ff.html

Absolute Path

os.path.abspath(path) → Return a normalized absolutized version of path. Note: it does not resolve symbolic links to its destination.

# python 3

# get absolute path

import os.path

fp = "/usr/bin/../bin/vi"

# remove redundant ../
print(os.path.normpath(fp))
# /usr/bin/vi

# similar to os.path.normpath(fp) but does a bit more
print(os.path.abspath(fp))
# /usr/bin/vi

Real Path of Symbolic Link

os.path.realpath(path) → Return the canonical path, resolve symbolic links.

# python 3

# resolve symbolic link

import os.path

print(os.path.realpath("/usr/bin/vi"))
# /usr/bin/vim

Python: Paths Topic

  1. File Path
  2. Print Version String from Script
  3. Executable Path, Script Path
  4. List Modules, Search Path, Loaded Modules
  5. How to Write a Module

Python Text Processing

  1. Read/Write File
  2. Walk Directory
  3. File Path
  4. Process Unicode
  5. Convert File Encoding
  6. Convert File Encoding in a Dir
  7. Find Replace in dir
  8. Find Replace by Regex
  9. Count Word Frequency

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Python

  1. Python 3 Basics
  2. Python 2 Basics
  3. Python 2 and 3 Difference
  4. Print Version
  5. Builtin Help
  6. Quote String
  7. String Methods
  8. Format String
  9. Operators
  10. Complex Numbers
  11. True, False
  12. if then else
  13. Loop
  14. List Basics
  15. Loop Thru List
  16. Map f to List
  17. Copy Nested List
  18. List Comprehension
  19. List Methods
  20. Sort
  21. Dictionary
  22. Loop Thru Dict
  23. Dict Methods
  24. Tuple
  25. Sets
  26. Function
  27. Closure
  28. 2 Closure
  29. Decorator
  30. Class
  31. Object, ID, Type
  32. List Modules
  33. Write a Module
  34. Unicode 🐍

Regex

  1. Regex Basics
  2. Regex Reference

Text Processing

  1. Read/Write File
  2. Traverse Directory
  3. File Path
  4. Process Unicode
  5. Convert File Encoding
  6. Find Replace in dir
  7. Find Replace by Regex
  8. Count Word Frequency

Web

  1. Send Email
  2. GET Web Page
  3. Web Crawler
  4. HTTP POST

Misc

  1. JSON
  2. Find Script Path
  3. Get Env Var
  4. System Call
  5. Decompress Gzip
  6. Append String in Loop
  7. Timing f timeit
  8. Keyword Arg Default Value Unstable
  9. Check Page Load Size
  10. Thumbnail Generation