How can I find script’s directory with Python?

The Question :

538 people think this question is useful

Consider the following Python code:

import os
print os.getcwd()

I use os.getcwd() to get the script file’s directory location. When I run the script from the command line it gives me the correct path whereas when I run it from a script run by code in a Django view it prints /.

How can I get the path to the script from within a script run by a Django view?

Summing up the answers thus far – os.getcwd() and os.path.abspath() both give the current working directory which may or may not be the directory where the script resides. In my web host setup __file__ gives only the filename without the path.

Isn’t there any way in Python to (always) be able to receive the path in which the script resides?

The Question Comments :
  • You should read that linked article more closely. It never suggests using getcwd will tell you your script’s location. It suggests argv[0], dirname, and abspath.
  • @Rob – “print sys.argv[0]” on my web host only gives the filename, without the path
  • @Rob – here’s an excerpt from the linked article “os.getcwd() returns the current working directory.”
  • Yes, but the current working directory has absolutely no relation to the directory your script lives in. Compare with os.chdir, which sets the current working directory; it does not move your script file to a new location on the hard drive. The initial working directory might be the same as the directory your script lives in, but not always; the article even demonstrates that.
  • Note that __file__ will return the filename of the scripts context. Caveat emptor if you’re calling out to an external script from your __main__ – you might get a different response than you expected.

The Answer 1

849 people think this answer is useful

You need to call os.path.realpath on __file__, so that when __file__ is a filename without the path you still get the dir path:

import os

The Answer 2

177 people think this answer is useful

Try sys.path[0].

To quote from the Python docs:

As initialized upon program startup, the first item of this list, path[0], is the directory containing the script that was used to invoke the Python interpreter. If the script directory is not available (e.g. if the interpreter is invoked interactively or if the script is read from standard input), path[0] is the empty string, which directs Python to search modules in the current directory first. Notice that the script directory is inserted before the entries inserted as a result of PYTHONPATH.


The Answer 3

144 people think this answer is useful

I use:

import os
import sys

def get_script_path():
    return os.path.dirname(os.path.realpath(sys.argv[0]))

As aiham points out in a comment, you can define this function in a module and use it in different scripts.

The Answer 4

20 people think this answer is useful

This code:

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

sets “dn” to the name of the directory containing the currently executing script. This code:

fn = os.path.join(dn,"vcb.init")
fp = open(fn,"r")

sets “fn” to “script_dir/vcb.init” (in a platform independent manner) and opens that file for reading by the currently executing script.

Note that “the currently executing script” is somewhat ambiguous. If your whole program consists of 1 script, then that’s the currently executing script and the “sys.path[0]” solution works fine. But if your app consists of script A, which imports some package “P” and then calls script “B”, then “P.B” is currently executing. If you need to get the directory containing “P.B”, you want the “os.path.realpath(__file__)” solution.

__file__” just gives the name of the currently executing (top-of-stack) script: “”. It doesn’t give any path info. It’s the “os.path.realpath” call that does the real work.

The Answer 5

15 people think this answer is useful
import os,sys
# Store current working directory
pwd = os.path.dirname(__file__)
# Append current directory to the python path

The Answer 6

8 people think this answer is useful

This worked for me (and I found it via the this stackoverflow question)


The Answer 7

7 people think this answer is useful
import os
script_dir = os.path.dirname(os.path.realpath(__file__)) + os.sep

The Answer 8

6 people think this answer is useful

Use os.path.abspath('')

The Answer 9

4 people think this answer is useful

Here’s what I ended up with. This works for me if I import my script in the interpreter, and also if I execute it as a script:

import os
import sys

# Returns the directory the current script (or interpreter) is running in
def get_script_directory():
    path = os.path.realpath(sys.argv[0])
    if os.path.isdir(path):
        return path
        return os.path.dirname(path)

The Answer 10

3 people think this answer is useful

This is a pretty old thread but I’ve been having this problem when trying to save files into the current directory the script is in when running a python script from a cron job. getcwd() and a lot of the other path come up with your home directory.

to get an absolute path to the script i used

directory = os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(__file__))

The Answer 11

0 people think this answer is useful
import os
exec_filepath = os.path.realpath(__file__)
exec_dirpath = exec_filepath[0:len(exec_filepath)-len(os.path.basename(__file__))]

The Answer 12

0 people think this answer is useful

Try this:

def get_script_path(for_file = None):
    path = os.path.dirname(os.path.realpath(sys.argv[0] or 'something'))
    return path if not for_file else os.path.join(path, for_file)

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