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Get file directory path from file path


Question

In Bash, if VAR="/home/me/mydir/file.c", how do I get "/home/me/mydir"?

2017/01/13
1
416
1/13/2017 12:57:25 PM

Accepted Answer

dirname and basename are the tools you're looking for for extracting path components:

$ export VAR='/home/pax/file.c'
$ echo "$(dirname "${VAR}")" ; echo "$(basename "${VAR}")"
/home/pax
file.c

They're not internal Bash commands but they're part of the POSIX standard - see dirname and basename. Hence, they're probably available on, or can be obtained for, most platforms that are capable of running bash.

2020/07/03
675
7/3/2020 1:49:52 AM

$ export VAR=/home/me/mydir/file.c
$ export DIR=${VAR%/*}
$ echo "${DIR}"
/home/me/mydir

$ echo "${VAR##*/}"
file.c

To avoid dependency with basename and dirname

2017/02/01

On a related note, if you only have the filename or relative path, dirname on its own won't help. For me, the answer ended up being readlink.

fname='txtfile'    
echo $(dirname "$fname")                # output: .
echo $(readlink -f "$fname")            # output: /home/me/work/txtfile

You can then combine the two to get just the directory.

echo $(dirname $(readlink -f "$fname")) # output: /home/me/work
2016/07/06

If you care target files to be symbolic link, firstly you can check it and get the original file. The if clause below may help you.

if [ -h $file ]
then
 base=$(dirname $(readlink $file))
else
 base=$(dirname $file)
fi
2016/02/26

I was playing with this and came up with an alternative.

$ VAR=/home/me/mydir/file.c

$ DIR=`echo $VAR |xargs dirname`

$ echo $DIR
/home/me/mydir

The part I liked is it was easy to extend backup the tree:

$ DIR=`echo $VAR |xargs dirname |xargs dirname |xargs dirname`

$ echo $DIR
/home
2017/06/07

Here is a script I used for recursive trimming. Replace $1 with the directory you want, of course.

BASEDIR="$1"
IFS=$'\n'
cd $BASEDIR
 for f in $(find . -type f -name ' *')
 do 
    DIR=$(dirname "$f")
    DIR=${DIR:1}
    cd $BASEDIR$DIR
    rename 's/^ *//' *
 done
2018/02/23

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6121091
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