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Splitting filename from absolute path

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 PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:11 am   

Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 12:36 am
Posts: 1

I need the ability to take an absolute path and filename as a string and remove the filename segment from it leaving me with just the path to the filename.

I saw this illustrated on the website somewhere, but I lost the page in my browser history and i can't remember what i was googling for when i found it.

Is there a simple function in BASH scripting to let me do this?

 PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:46 pm   
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Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 273
Heya Catfish,

I know what you're talking about, and I'm trying to remember what it was... You can use "basename" to get the filename without the path, but I can't remember what(if) there was a built in command to get the directory without the file name. In the meantime, here's some fancy awk stuff to get what you're looking for:

#test script for file/path manipulation

# First, we'll need a path, so let's make one up


# Now we'll chop the filename off of the end.  In awk, NF
# is the Number of Fields.  If there are 10 fields, $NF is
# equal to $10, or whatever the last field is.  We're using
# the slash (/) as a field seperator (escaped with a "\"
# filename="$(echo "$fullpath" |awk -F\/ '{ print $NF }')"

# or using basename:
filename="$(basename "$fullpath")"

# Now I'm just being lazy and using sed to chop off the
# filename that we grabbed for our $filename variable
# (commenting this out, since finding 'dirname')
# use this if you still want the trailing slash :)

#directory="$(echo "$fullpath"|sed s/"$filename"/""/g)"

# The dirname command!  This works even if the file
# you give it doesn't actually exist.  It does chop off
# the trailing slash though, so watch out for that.
# Also, if you don't give it a full path, it will return
# a relative path.

directory="$(dirname "$fullpath")"

# Now for the output, in case anybody
# wants to run this script as-is

echo "$fullpath"
echo "$directory"
echo "$filename"

Hope this helps!

EDITED: Forgot comments :)

Last edited by jeo on Thu May 10, 2007 3:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 3:14 pm   
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Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 273
Other possibilities for directory include:

# using grep + regex:

directory="$(echo "$fullpath"|grep -Eo '\/.*\/')"

# using awk:  won't work if there are any spaces
# in directory names because all spaces get
# replaced with a "/"...

directory="$(echo "$fullpath"| awk -F\/ '{ $NF = ""; gsub(/\ /,"/");print }' )"

# found it! i looked at dirname when i was writing that first script
# but dismissed it because it was giving me relative paths.  If you use
# dirname and give it the full path, it chops off the filename and the
# trailing slash!  the file and path don't even have to exist!

directory="$(dirname "$fullpath")"

I think that just about covers all the methods I can think of. "dirname" is the command I was looking for originally, I had just forgotten how to use it. Editing original script ;)

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 PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 3:25 pm   
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Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 273
I fail at forum posting... from now on I will post AFTER researching, not during... I must have edited the above posts like 5 times =P

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 PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 11:12 am   
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 9:36 pm
Posts: 693
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

yeah.... I've did that before myself :)

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 PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:07 am   

Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:07 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Colorado -- USA
You could also use "pure" Bash and avoid bloatware like 'dirname' :^)






The Advanced Bash Scripting Guide's chapter on string manipulation has more info.

"Never pipe when Bash will do." -- Lao Tzu

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