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Python os.listdir() Method Example

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The listdir() and system() functions belong to the OS module. The OS module in Python involves methods that are used to interact with your operating system, performing actions like:

  1. Creating a new folder or directory.
  2. Renaming an existing folder.
  3. Deleting a directory.
  4. Displaying the path to your current working directory.

How to Import the OS Module

To use the os module in your script, you need to “import” it. Importing a module means gaining access to all the functions and variables that are stored within the module.

import os

This will give you access to all the functions defined in the os module. Let’s talk about os.listdir() method.

Python os.listdir()

Python os.listdir() is an inbuilt method that returns a list containing the names of the entries in the directory given by path. The returned list is in arbitrary order, and it does not constitute the special entries ‘.’ and ‘..’ even if they are present in the directory.

Syntax

os.listdir(path)

Parameters

The listdir() function takes a path as a parameter, which is a directory, which needs to be explored.

Return Value

The listdir() method returns a list containing the names of the entries in the directory given by path.

Example

import os

# Open a file
path = "/Users/krunal/Desktop/code/pyt/database"
dirs = os.listdir(path)

# This would print all the files and directories
for file in dirs:
    print(file)

Output

shows.csv
Netflix.csv
marketing.csv
new_file.json
data.json
Netflix
shows.db
app.py
.vscode
purchase.csv
final.zip
sales.csv

And we get all the files in our current project directory.

Passing no path parameter

If we don’t specify any folder, then the list of files and directories in the current working directory will be returned. 

import os

# Open a file

dirs = os.listdir()

# This would print all the files and directories
for file in dirs:
    print(file)

Output

shows.csv
Netflix.csv
marketing.csv
new_file.json
data.json
Netflix
shows.db
app.py
.vscode
purchase.csv
final.zip
sales.csv

Python OS.listdir() and endswith( )

We can use the combination of listdir() and endswith() function to search for a specific file and print its content or do whatever you want.

Let’s find the json files in our folder and print their names.

See the following code.

import os

items = os.listdir(".")

data = []
for names in items:
    if names.endswith(".json"):
        data.append(names)
print(data)

Output

['new_file.json', 'data.json']

And we got two json files because my current directory has two json files.

That is it for the Python os.listdir() method.

See also

Python os.walk()

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