I want to delete the file
filename if it exists. Is it proper to say
if os.path.exists(filename): os.remove(filename)
Is there a better way? A one-line way?
A more pythonic way would be:
try: os.remove(filename) except OSError: pass
Although this takes even more lines and looks very ugly, it avoids the unnecessary call to
os.path.exists() and follows the python convention of overusing exceptions.
It may be worthwhile to write a function to do this for you:
import os, errno def silentremove(filename): try: os.remove(filename) except OSError as e: # this would be "except OSError, e:" before Python 2.6 if e.errno != errno.ENOENT: # errno.ENOENT = no such file or directory raise # re-raise exception if a different error occurred
I prefer to suppress an exception rather than checking for the file's existence, to avoid a TOCTTOU bug. Matt's answer is a good example of this, but we can simplify it slightly under Python 3, using
import contextlib with contextlib.suppress(FileNotFoundError): os.remove(filename)
filename is a
pathlib.Path object instead of a string, we can call its
.unlink() method instead of using
os.remove(). In my experience, Path objects are more useful than strings for filesystem manipulation.
Since everything in this answer is exclusive to Python 3, it provides yet another reason to upgrade.