Python Directory and Files Management

A directory is a collection of files or sub-directories where you can store and manage a large number of data. Python provides os module to work with directories.

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What are the functions provided by os module?

OS module in python provides more than 30 functions to deal with files and directories. We need to import os module and use dir function to get a list of the functions and attributes provided by os module.

import os
print(dir(os))

We get the output as below:-

[‘CLD_CONTINUED’, ‘CLD_DUMPED’, ‘CLD_EXITED’, ‘CLD_TRAPPED’, ‘DirEntry’, ‘EX_CANTCREAT’, ‘EX_CONFIG’, ‘EX_DATAERR’, ‘EX_IOERR’, ‘EX_NOHOST’, ‘EX_NOINPUT’, ‘EX_NOPERM’, ‘EX_NOUSER’, ‘EX_OK’, ‘EX_OSERR’, ‘EX_OSFILE’, ‘EX_PROTOCOL’, ‘EX_SOFTWARE’, ‘EX_TEMPFAIL’, ‘EX_UNAVAILABLE’, ‘EX_USAGE’, ‘F_LOCK’, ‘F_OK’, ‘F_TEST’, ‘F_TLOCK’, ‘F_ULOCK’, ‘MutableMapping’, ‘NGROUPS_MAX’, ‘O_ACCMODE’, ‘O_APPEND’, ‘O_ASYNC’, ‘O_CLOEXEC’, ‘O_CREAT’, ‘O_DIRECTORY’, ‘O_DSYNC’, ‘O_EXCL’, ‘O_EXLOCK’, ‘O_NDELAY’, ‘O_NOCTTY’, ‘O_NOFOLLOW’, ‘O_NONBLOCK’, ‘O_RDONLY’, ‘O_RDWR’, ‘O_SHLOCK’, ‘O_SYNC’, ‘O_TRUNC’, ‘O_WRONLY’, ‘PRIO_PGRP’, ‘PRIO_PROCESS’, ‘PRIO_USER’, ‘P_ALL’, ‘P_NOWAIT’, ‘P_NOWAITO’, ‘P_PGID’, ‘P_PID’, ‘P_WAIT’, ‘PathLike’, ‘RTLD_GLOBAL’, ‘RTLD_LAZY’, ‘RTLD_LOCAL’, ‘RTLD_NODELETE’, ‘RTLD_NOLOAD’, ‘RTLD_NOW’, ‘R_OK’, ‘SCHED_FIFO’, ‘SCHED_OTHER’, ‘SCHED_RR’, ‘SEEK_CUR’, ‘SEEK_END’, ‘SEEK_SET’, ‘ST_NOSUID’, ‘ST_RDONLY’, ‘TMP_MAX’, ‘WCONTINUED’, ‘WCOREDUMP’, ‘WEXITED’, ‘WEXITSTATUS’, ‘WIFCONTINUED’, ‘WIFEXITED’, ‘WIFSIGNALED’, ‘WIFSTOPPED’, ‘WNOHANG’, ‘WNOWAIT’, ‘WSTOPPED’, ‘WSTOPSIG’, ‘WTERMSIG’, ‘WUNTRACED’, ‘W_OK’, ‘X_OK’, ‘_Environ’, ‘__all__’, ‘__builtins__’, ‘__cached__’, ‘__doc__’, ‘__file__’, ‘__loader__’, ‘__name__’, ‘__package__’, ‘__spec__’, ‘_execvpe’, ‘_exists’, ‘_exit’, ‘_fspath’, ‘_get_exports_list’, ‘_putenv’, ‘_spawnvef’, ‘_unsetenv’, ‘_wrap_close’, ‘abc’, ‘abort’, ‘access’, ‘altsep’, ‘chdir’, ‘chflags’, ‘chmod’, ‘chown’, ‘chroot’, ‘close’, ‘closerange’, ‘confstr’, ‘confstr_names’, ‘cpu_count’, ‘ctermid’, ‘curdir’, ‘defpath’, ‘device_encoding’, ‘devnull’, ‘dup’, ‘dup2’, ‘environ’, ‘environb’, ‘errno’, ‘error’, ‘execl’, ‘execle’, ‘execlp’, ‘execlpe’, ‘execv’, ‘execve’, ‘execvp’, ‘execvpe’, ‘extsep’, ‘fchdir’, ‘fchmod’, ‘fchown’, ‘fdopen’, ‘fork’, ‘forkpty’, ‘fpathconf’, ‘fsdecode’, ‘fsencode’, ‘fspath’, ‘fstat’, ‘fstatvfs’, ‘fsync’, ‘ftruncate’, ‘get_blocking’, ‘get_exec_path’, ‘get_inheritable’, ‘get_terminal_size’, ‘getcwd’, ‘getcwdb’, ‘getegid’, ‘getenv’, ‘getenvb’, ‘geteuid’, ‘getgid’, ‘getgrouplist’, ‘getgroups’, ‘getloadavg’, ‘getlogin’, ‘getpgid’, ‘getpgrp’, ‘getpid’, ‘getppid’, ‘getpriority’, ‘getsid’, ‘getuid’, ‘initgroups’, ‘isatty’, ‘kill’, ‘killpg’, ‘lchflags’, ‘lchmod’, ‘lchown’, ‘linesep’, ‘link’, ‘listdir’, ‘lockf’, ‘lseek’, ‘lstat’, ‘major’, ‘makedev’, ‘makedirs’, ‘minor’, ‘mkdir’, ‘mkfifo’, ‘mknod’, ‘name’, ‘nice’, ‘open’, ‘openpty’, ‘pardir’, ‘path’, ‘pathconf’, ‘pathconf_names’, ‘pathsep’, ‘pipe’, ‘popen’, ‘pread’, ‘putenv’, ‘pwrite’, ‘read’, ‘readlink’, ‘readv’, ‘remove’, ‘removedirs’, ‘rename’, ‘renames’, ‘replace’, ‘rmdir’, ‘scandir’, ‘sched_get_priority_max’, ‘sched_get_priority_min’, ‘sched_yield’, ‘sendfile’, ‘sep’, ‘set_blocking’, ‘set_inheritable’, ‘setegid’, ‘seteuid’, ‘setgid’, ‘setgroups’, ‘setpgid’, ‘setpgrp’, ‘setpriority’, ‘setregid’, ‘setreuid’, ‘setsid’, ‘setuid’, ‘spawnl’, ‘spawnle’, ‘spawnlp’, ‘spawnlpe’, ‘spawnv’, ‘spawnve’, ‘spawnvp’, ‘spawnvpe’, ‘st’, ‘stat’, ‘stat_float_times’, ‘stat_result’, ‘statvfs’, ‘statvfs_result’, ‘strerror’, ‘supports_bytes_environ’, ‘supports_dir_fd’, ‘supports_effective_ids’, ‘supports_fd’, ‘supports_follow_symlinks’, ‘symlink’, ‘sync’, ‘sys’, ‘sysconf’, ‘sysconf_names’, ‘system’, ‘tcgetpgrp’, ‘tcsetpgrp’, ‘terminal_size’, ‘times’, ‘times_result’, ‘truncate’, ‘ttyname’, ‘umask’, ‘uname’, ‘uname_result’, ‘unlink’, ‘unsetenv’, ‘urandom’, ‘utime’, ‘wait’, ‘wait3’, ‘wait4’, ‘waitpid’, ‘walk’, ‘write’, ‘writev’]

How to Get Current Directory in Python?

To get the current directory, we use getcwd() method. This method returns the current working directory in the form of a string.

import os

print(os.getcwd())
/var/www/python_projects/test/files

How to Change Directory in Python?

We can change the current working directory using the chdir() method. We can use either forward slash(/) or backward slash(\) to separate the directories. It is safer to use an escape sequence when using the backward slash.

import os
print(os.getcwd())
os.chdir('/var/www')
print(os.getcwd())

/var/www/python_projects/test/files
/var/www

How to List Directories and Files in Python?

listdir() method can be used to list files and directories inside a folder.

import os

print(os.listdir())

The output is:-

[‘open.py’, ‘dir1’, ‘hello.txt’]

How to create a New Directory using Python?

Thee os module provides mkdir() method for creating a new directory. This method takes in the path of the new directory. If the full path is not specified, the new directory is created in the current working directory.

import os
os.mkdir('test')
print(os.listdir())

The output is:-

[‘test’, ‘open.py’, ‘dir1’, ‘hello.txt’]

How to rename a Directory or a File in Python?

rename() method is used for renaming directory or file in python. The first argument is the old name and the new name must be supplied as the second argument.

import os
print(os.listdir())
# Renaming to test_new
os.rename('test', 'test_new')
print(os.listdir())

The output is:-

[‘test_new’, ‘open.py’, ‘dir1’, ‘hello.txt’]

How to remove a Directory or a File in Python?

We can use remove() function to remove a file and rmdir() to remove the directory.

import os
print(os.listdir())
os.rmdir('test_new')
print(os.listdir())

The output is:-

[‘open.py’, ‘dir1’, ‘hello.txt’]
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