Find the current directory and file's directory


How do I determine:

  1. the current directory (where I was in the terminal when I ran the Python script), and
  2. where the Python file I am executing is?
Asked By: John Howard



Current working directory: os.getcwd()

And the __file__ attribute can help you find out where the file you are executing is located. This Stack Overflow post explains everything: How do I get the path of the current executed file in Python?

Answered By: Nix

To get the full path to the directory a Python file is contained in, write this in that file:

import os 
dir_path = os.path.dirname(os.path.realpath(__file__))

(Note that the incantation above won’t work if you’ve already used os.chdir() to change your current working directory, since the value of the __file__ constant is relative to the current working directory and is not changed by an os.chdir() call.)

To get the current working directory use

import os
cwd = os.getcwd()

Documentation references for the modules, constants and functions used above:

Answered By: Russell Dias
  1. To get the current directory full path

    >>import os
    >>print os.getcwd()

    Output: "C :Usersadminmyfolder"

  2. To get the current directory folder name alone

    >>import os
    >>print str2[n-1]

    Output: "myfolder"

Answered By: vinithravit

If you are trying to find the current directory of the file you are currently in:

OS agnostic way:

dirname, filename = os.path.split(os.path.abspath(__file__))
Answered By: Kurt

You may find this useful as a reference:

import os

print("Path at terminal when executing this file")
print(os.getcwd() + "n")

print("This file path, relative to os.getcwd()")
print(__file__ + "n")

print("This file full path (following symlinks)")
full_path = os.path.realpath(__file__)
print(full_path + "n")

print("This file directory and name")
path, filename = os.path.split(full_path)
print(path + ' --> ' + filename + "n")

print("This file directory only")
Answered By: Daniel Reis

If you’re searching for the location of the currently executed script, you can use sys.argv[0] to get the full path.

Answered By: Grochni

I think the most succinct way to find just the name of your current execution context would be:

current_folder_path, current_folder_name = os.path.split(os.getcwd())
Answered By: StormShadow

If you’re using Python 3.4, there is the brand new higher-level pathlib module which allows you to conveniently call pathlib.Path.cwd() to get a Path object representing your current working directory, along with many other new features.

More info on this new API can be found here.

Answered By: Jazzer

To get the current directory full path:

Answered By: Ilia S.

Answer to #1:

If you want the current directory, do this:

import os

If you want just any folder name and you have the path to that folder, do this:

def get_folder_name(folder):
    Returns the folder name, given a full folder path
    return folder.split(os.sep)[-1]

Answer to #2:

import os
print os.path.abspath(__file__)
Answered By: Blairg23

Pathlib can be used this way to get the directory containing the current script:

import pathlib
filepath = pathlib.Path(__file__).resolve().parent
Answered By: Mathieu C.

For question 1, use os.getcwd() # Get working directory and os.chdir(r'D:Steamsteamappscommon') # Set working directory

I recommend using sys.argv[0] for question 2 because sys.argv is immutable and therefore always returns the current file (module object path) and not affected by os.chdir(). Also you can do like this:

import os
this_py_file = os.path.realpath(__file__)

# vvv Below comes your code vvv #

But that snippet and sys.argv[0] will not work or will work weird when compiled by PyInstaller, because magic properties are not set in __main__ level and sys.argv[0] is the way your executable was called (it means that it becomes affected by the working directory).

Answered By: Kotauskas

The pathlib module, introduced in Python 3.4 (PEP 428 — The pathlib module — object-oriented filesystem paths), makes the path-related experience much much better.




└── scripts

In order to get the current working directory, use Path.cwd():

from pathlib import Path

print(Path.cwd())  # /home/skovorodkin/stack

To get an absolute path to your script file, use the Path.resolve() method:

print(Path(__file__).resolve())  # /home/skovorodkin/stack/scripts/

And to get the path of a directory where your script is located, access .parent (it is recommended to call .resolve() before .parent):

print(Path(__file__).resolve().parent)  # /home/skovorodkin/stack/scripts

Remember that __file__ is not reliable in some situations: How do I get the path of the current executed file in Python?.

Please note, that Path.cwd(), Path.resolve() and other Path methods return path objects (PosixPath in my case), not strings. In Python 3.4 and 3.5 that caused some pain, because open built-in function could only work with string or bytes objects, and did not support Path objects, so you had to convert Path objects to strings or use the method, but the latter option required you to change old code:

File scripts/

from pathlib import Path

p = Path(__file__).resolve()

with as f: pass
with open(str(p)) as f: pass
with open(p) as f: pass



python3.5 scripts/

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "scripts/", line 11, in <module>
    with open(p) as f:
TypeError: invalid file: PosixPath('/home/skovorodkin/stack/scripts/')

As you can see, open(p) does not work with Python 3.5.

PEP 519 — Adding a file system path protocol, implemented in Python 3.6, adds support of PathLike objects to the open function, so now you can pass Path objects to the open function directly:

python3.6 scripts/

Answered By: skovorodkin
Categories: questions Tags: ,
Answers are sorted by their score. The answer accepted by the question owner as the best is marked with
at the top-right corner.