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Waylon Walker
Waylon Walker

Posted on • Originally published at waylonwalker.com

How I glob for Files in Python

A very common task for any script is to look for files on the system. My go to method when globbing for files in python is to use pathlib.

Setup

I setup a directory to make some examples about globbing. Here is what the directory looks like.

❯ tree .
.
├── content
│   ├── hello.md
│   ├── hello.py
│   ├── me.md
│   └── you.md
├── readme.md
├── README.md
├── READMES.md
└── setup.py
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1 directory, 8 files

Pathlib

Pathlib is a standard library module available in all LTS versions of python at this point.

 from pathlib import Path
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Creating a Path instance.

# current working directory
Path() Path.cwd()

# The users home directory
Path.home()

# Path to a directory by string
Path('/path/to/directory')

# The users ~/.config directory
Path.home() / '.config'
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Globbing Examples

The path object has a glob method that allows you to glob for files with a unix style glob pattern to search for files. Note that it gives you a generator. This is great for many use cases, but for examples its easier to turn them to a list to print them out.

If you need some more detail on what globbing is there is a wikipedia article discussing it. I am just showing how to glob with pathlib.


 Path().glob("**/*.md")
<generator object Path.glob at 0x7fa35adc4f90>

 list(Path().glob("**/*.md"))

[
    PosixPath('readme.md'),
    PosixPath('READMES.md'),
    PosixPath('README.md'),
    PosixPath('content/you.md'),
    PosixPath('content/me.md'),
    PosixPath('content/hello.md')
]

 list(Path().glob("**/*.py"))
[PosixPath('setup.py'), PosixPath('content/hello.py')]

 list(Path().glob("*.md"))
[PosixPath('readme.md'), PosixPath('READMES.md'), PosixPath('README.md')]

 list(Path().glob("*.py"))
[PosixPath('setup.py')]

 list(Path().glob("**/*hello*"))
[PosixPath('content/hello.py'), PosixPath('content/hello.md')]

 list(Path().glob("**/REA?ME.md"))
[PosixPath('README.md')]
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