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11.1. os.path — Common pathname manipulations — Python v2.6.2 documentation

11.1. os.path — Common pathname manipulations¶

This module implements some useful functions on pathnames. To read or write files see open(), and for accessing the filesystem see the os module.

Note

On Windows, many of these functions do not properly support UNC pathnames. splitunc() and ismount() do handle them correctly.

Note

Since different operating systems have different path name conventions, there are several versions of this module in the standard library. The os.path module is always the path module suitable for the operating system Python is running on, and therefore usable for local paths. However, you can also import and use the individual modules if you want to manipulate a path that is always in one of the different formats. They all have the same interface:

  • posixpath for UNIX-style paths
  • ntpath for Windows paths
  • macpath for old-style MacOS paths
  • os2emxpath for OS/2 EMX paths
os.path.abspath(path)¶

Return a normalized absolutized version of the pathname path. On most platforms, this is equivalent to normpath(join(os.getcwd(), path)).

New in version 1.5.2.

os.path.basename(path)¶
Return the base name of pathname path. This is the second half of the pair returned by split(path). Note that the result of this function is different from the Unix basename program; where basename for '/foo/bar/' returns 'bar', the basename() function returns an empty string ('').
os.path.commonprefix(list)¶
Return the longest path prefix (taken character-by-character) that is a prefix of all paths in list. If list is empty, return the empty string (''). Note that this may return invalid paths because it works a character at a time.
os.path.dirname(path)¶
Return the directory name of pathname path. This is the first half of the pair returned by split(path).
os.path.exists(path)¶
Return True if path refers to an existing path. Returns False for broken symbolic links. On some platforms, this function may return False if permission is not granted to execute os.stat() on the requested file, even if the path physically exists.
os.path.lexists(path)¶

Return True if path refers to an existing path. Returns True for broken symbolic links. Equivalent to exists() on platforms lacking os.lstat().

New in version 2.4.

os.path.expanduser(path)¶

On Unix and Windows, return the argument with an initial component of ~ or ~user replaced by that user‘s home directory.

On Unix, an initial ~ is replaced by the environment variable HOME if it is set; otherwise the current user’s home directory is looked up in the password directory through the built-in module pwd. An initial ~user is looked up directly in the password directory.

On Windows, HOME and USERPROFILE will be used if set, otherwise a combination of HOMEPATH and HOMEDRIVE will be used. An initial ~user is handled by stripping the last directory component from the created user path derived above.

If the expansion fails or if the path does not begin with a tilde, the path is returned unchanged.

os.path.expandvars(path)¶

Return the argument with environment variables expanded. Substrings of the form $name or ${name} are replaced by the value of environment variable name. Malformed variable names and references to non-existing variables are left unchanged.

On Windows, %name% expansions are supported in addition to $name and ${name}.

os.path.getatime(path)¶

Return the time of last access of path. The return value is a number giving the number of seconds since the epoch (see the time module). Raise os.error if the file does not exist or is inaccessible.

New in version 1.5.2.

Changed in version 2.3: If os.stat_float_times() returns True, the result is a floating point number.

os.path.getmtime(path)¶

Return the time of last modification of path. The return value is a number giving the number of seconds since the epoch (see the time module). Raise os.error if the file does not exist or is inaccessible.

New in version 1.5.2.

Changed in version 2.3: If os.stat_float_times() returns True, the result is a floating point number.

os.path.getctime(path)¶

Return the system’s ctime which, on some systems (like Unix) is the time of the last change, and, on others (like Windows), is the creation time for path. The return value is a number giving the number of seconds since the epoch (see the time module). Raise os.error if the file does not exist or is inaccessible.

New in version 2.3.

os.path.getsize(path)¶

Return the size, in bytes, of path. Raise os.error if the file does not exist or is inaccessible.

New in version 1.5.2.

os.path.isabs(path)¶
Return True if path is an absolute pathname. On Unix, that means it begins with a slash, on Windows that it begins with a (back)slash after chopping off a potential drive letter.
os.path.isfile(path)¶
Return True if path is an existing regular file. This follows symbolic links, so both islink() and isfile() can be true for the same path.
os.path.isdir(path)¶
Return True if path is an existing directory. This follows symbolic links, so both islink() and isdir() can be true for the same path.
Return True if path refers to a directory entry that is a symbolic link. Always False if symbolic links are not supported.
os.path.ismount(path)¶
Return True if pathname path is a mount point: a point in a file system where a different file system has been mounted. The function checks whether path‘s parent, path/.., is on a different device than path, or whether path/.. and path point to the same i-node on the same device — this should detect mount points for all Unix and POSIX variants.
os.path.join(path1[, path2[, ...]])¶
Join one or more path components intelligently. If any component is an absolute path, all previous components (on Windows, including the previous drive letter, if there was one) are thrown away, and joining continues. The return value is the concatenation of path1, and optionally path2, etc., with exactly one directory separator (os.sep) inserted between components, unless path2 is empty. Note that on Windows, since there is a current directory for each drive, os.path.join("c:", "foo") represents a path relative to the current directory on drive C: (c:foo), not c:\foo.
os.path.normcase(path)¶
Normalize the case of a pathname. On Unix and Mac OS X, this returns the path unchanged; on case-insensitive filesystems, it converts the path to lowercase. On Windows, it also converts forward slashes to backward slashes.
os.path.normpath(path)¶
Normalize a pathname. This collapses redundant separators and up-level references so that A//B, A/./B and A/foo/../B all become A/B. It does not normalize the case (use normcase() for that). On Windows, it converts forward slashes to backward slashes. It should be understood that this may change the meaning of the path if it contains symbolic links!
os.path.realpath(path)¶

Return the canonical path of the specified filename, eliminating any symbolic links encountered in the path (if they are supported by the operating system).

New in version 2.2.

os.path.relpath(path[, start])¶

Return a relative filepath to path either from the current directory or from an optional start point.

start defaults to os.curdir. Availability: Windows, Unix.

New in version 2.6.

os.path.samefile(path1, path2)¶
Return True if both pathname arguments refer to the same file or directory (as indicated by device number and i-node number). Raise an exception if a os.stat() call on either pathname fails. Availability: Unix.
os.path.sameopenfile(fp1, fp2)¶
Return True if the file descriptors fp1 and fp2 refer to the same file. Availability: Unix.
os.path.samestat(stat1, stat2)¶
Return True if the stat tuples stat1 and stat2 refer to the same file. These structures may have been returned by fstat(), lstat(), or stat(). This function implements the underlying comparison used by samefile() and sameopenfile(). Availability: Unix.
os.path.split(path)¶
Split the pathname path into a pair, (head, tail) where tail is the last pathname component and head is everything leading up to that. The tail part will never contain a slash; if path ends in a slash, tail will be empty. If there is no slash in path, head will be empty. If path is empty, both head and tail are empty. Trailing slashes are stripped from head unless it is the root (one or more slashes only). In nearly all cases, join(head, tail) equals path (the only exception being when there were multiple slashes separating head from tail).
os.path.splitdrive(path)¶

Split the pathname path into a pair (drive, tail) where drive is either a drive specification or the empty string. On systems which do not use drive specifications, drive will always be the empty string. In all cases, drive + tail will be the same as path.

New in version 1.3.

os.path.splitext(path)¶

Split the pathname path into a pair (root, ext) such that root + ext == path, and ext is empty or begins with a period and contains at most one period. Leading periods on the basename are ignored; splitext('.cshrc') returns ('.cshrc', '').

Changed in version 2.6: Earlier versions could produce an empty root when the only period was the first character.

os.path.splitunc(path)¶
Split the pathname path into a pair (unc, rest) so that unc is the UNC mount point (such as r'\\host\mount'), if present, and rest the rest of the path (such as r'\path\file.ext'). For paths containing drive letters, unc will always be the empty string. Availability: Windows.
os.path.walk(path, visit, arg)¶

Calls the function visit with arguments (arg, dirname, names) for each directory in the directory tree rooted at path (including path itself, if it is a directory). The argument dirname specifies the visited directory, the argument names lists the files in the directory (gotten from os.listdir(dirname)). The visit function may modify names to influence the set of directories visited below dirname, e.g. to avoid visiting certain parts of the tree. (The object referred to by names must be modified in place, using del or slice assignment.)

Note

Symbolic links to directories are not treated as subdirectories, and that walk() therefore will not visit them. To visit linked directories you must identify them with os.path.islink(file) and os.path.isdir(file), and invoke walk() as necessary.

Note

This function is deprecated and has been removed in 3.0 in favor of os.walk().

os.path.supports_unicode_filenames¶

True if arbitrary Unicode strings can be used as file names (within limitations imposed by the file system), and if os.listdir() returns Unicode strings for a Unicode argument.

New in version 2.3.

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