Find a file in python


Question

I have a file that may be in a different place on each user's machine. Is there a way to implement a search for the file? A way that I can pass the file's name and the directory tree to search in?

1
86
11/12/2009 7:21:52 PM

Accepted Answer

os.walk is the answer, this will find the first match:

import os

def find(name, path):
    for root, dirs, files in os.walk(path):
        if name in files:
            return os.path.join(root, name)

And this will find all matches:

def find_all(name, path):
    result = []
    for root, dirs, files in os.walk(path):
        if name in files:
            result.append(os.path.join(root, name))
    return result

And this will match a pattern:

import os, fnmatch
def find(pattern, path):
    result = []
    for root, dirs, files in os.walk(path):
        for name in files:
            if fnmatch.fnmatch(name, pattern):
                result.append(os.path.join(root, name))
    return result

find('*.txt', '/path/to/dir')
199
11/12/2009 7:33:17 PM

I used a version of os.walk and on a larger directory got times around 3.5 sec. I tried two random solutions with no great improvement, then just did:

paths = [line[2:] for line in subprocess.check_output("find . -iname '*.txt'", shell=True).splitlines()]

While it's POSIX-only, I got 0.25 sec.

From this, I believe it's entirely possible to optimise whole searching a lot in a platform-independent way, but this is where I stopped the research.


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