One of the most important aspects of programming you must understand is your project directory. It gives you a better grasp of your files and lets you relate with them more easily—especially when you need to carry out actions like file linking, module import, directory switching, and much more.
Whether for urgent reasons or future needs, it’s a necessary aspect when executing Python projects as well.
So let’s highlight the techniques you can use to get your current Python directory, as well as some other possible tweaks you can apply to it generally.
Dealing with Python Directories
The methods that deal with the Python working directory are in its inbuilt os module and are the same for all OSes. Thus, it means you need to import that module before you can start executing commands that deal with your working directory.
However, just like any other Python line or block of code, these commands are written in a Python shell. Or a Python file if you’re using other code editors. And if you’re working from the command line, you need to enter the Python shell by typing python. That’s because the os methods are Python packages, and you can’t execute them directly from the CMD.
Get the Current Python Working Directory
You can get your current Python directory by using either the os.path or os.getcwd method. However, while os.getcwd, which is the more common method, only checks your current working directory, the os.path method can check both the current directory as well as the base path of your working directory.
To get the base path of your Python working directory with the os.path method, write the following within your Python file or shell:
BASE_DIR = os.path.dirname(os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__)))
However, to use the above method to check the active working directory, type the following:
CURR_DIR = os.path.dirname(os.path.realpath(__file__))
Getting the current Python directory with the os.getcwd method is quite straight forward; to use it, run the following lines in your shell or Python file:
CURR_DIR = os.getcwd()
Switching Your Current Python Directory
You can change the current Python directory to inherit another file path if you like. To do that, you only need to define the file path for the new working directory as done in the code snippet below. Ensure that you replace the path with the one that applies to you:
chd = os.chdir('C:/Users/Omisola Idowu/Desktop/my_project')
CURR_DIR = os.getcwd()
The code above changes the current working directory to the one in parenthesis. Thus, the output of the snippet above returns the full path of the new directory you entered in the os.chdir() method.
Other Tweaks for Dealing with Python Directories
Beyond getting the current directory, there are other things you can do to deal with Python working paths. You can list the files and sub-folders within a Python working directory, as well as rename, remove, or make a Python directory by writing either of the following lines in your Python shell.
However, ensure that you import the necessary modules by typing import os in your shell before running your commands.
- os.listdir(): list out all the files and sub-folders within the current Python working directory
- os.mkdir(‘new_dir’): make a new Python directory within the current project directory
- os.rename(‘old_name’, ‘new_name’): rename any named file or folder within the current directory by supplying its original name, followed by its new name
- os.rmdir(‘folder_name’): remove empty folder within the current working path
- os.remove(‘file_name’): delete a file from the Python directory
- shutil.rmtree(‘folder_name’): delete a non-empty folder from the working directory, to use this command, import the shutil library by typing import shutil in your working file or Python shell.
Organize your Project Directory Smartly
No matter the project you want to start, it’s a good practice to create a folder that contains your entire project. And the arrangement of your folder and files can influence the output of your Python project. Thus, there must be a well-structured directory to prevent your working tree from getting messed up.
However, the directory methods listed here are some of the few things you come across as you go further into executing Python projects—especially when you need to link one or more folders or files together.