How to Find the Current Working Directory in Python
Python provides two different ways to get the current working directory. The first method uses the
os module and the second uses
os Module to Get the Current Directory
First thing you need to do is to import the module.
Then, you just need call the
import os ... os.getcwd() '/home/miguel'
And that is it! As you can see, the function returns a string. This is not very flexible, what if you want to list all the files in that directory? You will have to call it on
os functions again.
os module is pretty ancient and I wouldn’t recommend using it nowadays. In the following section, I’m going to show you the modern way of getting the current working directory in Python.
Getting the Current Working Directory Through the
pathlib module was proposed in 2012 and added to Python in the 3.4 version. The idea was to provide an object-oriented API for filesystem paths. This module provides classes that represent the filesystem paths with semantics appropriate for different operating systems. Also, Path objects are immutable and hashable, which helps prevent programming errors caused by mutability.
To get the current working directory using
pathlib you can use the classmethod
cwd from the
Path class. But first, you need to import it.
from pathlib import Path
Them, you can call the method.
from pathlib import Path ... Path.cwd() PosixPath('/home/miguel')
As you can see, the output is different than the
os.getcwd(). As I mentioned earlier, all paths follow the semantics of the underlying filesystem. In my case, I'm using Linux, so the output is a
PosixPath. On Windows,
cwd returns a
Being an object allows many cool functionalities such as iterating over all files just by calling a method. However, If you still want to get the string representation, you can call
str on the
Path.cwd Under the Hood
Path know the current directory? The answer is: it calls the
os and returns an instance of
Path. The following snippet shows the actual implementation.
def cwd(cls): """Return a new path pointing to the current working directory (as returned by os.getcwd()). """ return cls(os.getcwd())
Wait! On Linux it returns a
PosixPathbut the class method belongs to
Path. How does it know?
Path does some magic behind the scenes before creating the object. It implements the
__new__ magic method and calls
os to determine the underlying operating system. Check the implementation.
def __new__(cls, *args, **kwargs): if cls is Path: cls = WindowsPath if os.name == 'nt' else PosixPath self = cls._from_parts(args, init=False) if not self._flavour.is_supported: raise NotImplementedError("cannot instantiate %r on your system" % (cls.__name__,)) self._init() return self
That's it for today, folks! I hope you enjoyed this brief article.
Other posts you may like:
- 3 Ways to Test API Client Applications in Python
- 5 Hidden Python Features You Probably Never Heard Of
- 7 pytest Features and Plugins That Will Save You Tons of Time
- Everything You Need to Know About Python's Namedtuples
See you next time!