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Python OS Module - Useful Methods related to Directory and Files

Python OS Module – Useful Methods related to Directory and Files

Python has an OS Module which provides the utility function to working on various parts of the Operating System. The module can be imported in Python using import os. In this post, we’ll explore some of the functions related to files and directories.

Joining Paths

This method can be useful during the concatenation of the directory and file path.

import os

joined_path = os.path.join("first_path/dir", "sub_dir/file.txt")
print(joined_path) #first_path/dir\sub_dir/file.txt

Get Current Working Directory

This will get the current working directory of the file.

import os

p = os.getcwd()
print(p) #C:\Users\pavan\Desktop\python

Creating a Directory

The method mkdir can be used to create a directory passing the source path and mode. The mode parameter
is the file permission.

os.mkdir('./my_dir_name', mode=775)


Throws FileExistsError if the directory already exists. And also it cannot be used to create a file.

Check if the Directory is accessible

Before you start any operation of the directory or file. If you want to verify whether that particular file or directory is
accessible with the required permissions than better go for accessible method.

os.access('C:/Users/pavan/Desktop/python', mode=os.W_OK) #for directory
os.access('C:/Users/pavan/Desktop/python/', mode=os.W_OK) #for file

The available modes are:

  • F_OK: Checks if File exists
  • W_OK: Checks if File has to write permission
  • R_OK: Checks if File has read permission
  • X_OK: Checks if File has read, write and execute permissions

Rename Directory

Using method .rename you can rename a directory or file.

os.rename('source_directory_path', 'destination_directory_path')

Remove Directory

Using method .remove you can remove a directory or file.


Get files within Directory

To fetch a list of all the directories and files within a directory use scandir method. Which returns an iterator object and through for loop all the directory contents or files will be displayed.

dir = os.scandir('./')
for item in dir:

Check if File is a Directory or File

Apart from access() the method there is another way to check whether a file or directory is accessible and that is using os.path.isfile() and os.path.isdir().
There is a small difference between access when compared to isfile and isdir is that you can check for accessibility levels in access() method.


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