15 Useful Methods from Python OS Module

When we work with Python, sometimes we need to use features from the computer’s operating system. The ‘os’ module in Python helps us do this. It lets us do things like find out the current directory, list files and folders, create or delete folders, and more.

In this article, we’ll look at some useful ‘os’ module functions that can be helpful for your projects.

OS Module in Python

Before getting into its most used methods, we first need to understand what the OS module is. The OS module in Python helps you work with your computer’s operating system. It lets you do things like accessing files and folders, managing processes, and executing commands.

You can use it to get information about directories, create or delete folders, and perform other system tasks. Basically, it makes it easier to handle system-related stuff in your Python programs.

15 Highly Used Methods of OS Module

Now that we know about the OS module, let’s see what methods it has to offer and for what they are used for.

1. os.getcwd()

This method returns the current working directory as a string. The working directory is the directory from which your Python script is currently running.

Example:

import os

current_dir = os.getcwd()
print("Current directory is:", current_dir)

Output:

Flashes the current working directory
Flashes the current working directory

2. os.chdir(path)

This method changes the current working directory to the specified path.

Example:

import os

os.chdir('C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Intro Streamline')
print(f"Current working directory changed to: {os.getcwd()}")

Output:

Changes the current working directory
Changes the current working directory

3. os.listdir(path)

This method returns a list containing the names of the entries in the directory given by path. If no path is specified, it defaults to the current directory.

Example:

import os

files_in_current_dir = os.listdir()
print("Files in current directory:", files_in_current_dir)

Output:

List of current files in the directory
List of current files in the directory
Display of that list
Display of that list

4. os.mkdir(path)

This method helps us to create a directory named path.

Example:

import os

path = 'C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Os module\\New directory'
os.mkdir(path)
print(f"Directory '{os.path.basename(path)}' created at: {os.path.abspath(path)}")

Output:

Display of success message
Display of success message
Directory Created
Directory Created

5. os.path.splitext(path)

This method splits the given path into its base filename and file extension, returning a tuple with two elements.

Example:

import os

path = 'C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Os module\\chdir.py'
root, ext = os.path.splitext(path)

print("Root:", root)
print("Extension:", ext)

Output:

Split the path into root and extension
Split the path into root and extension

6. os.rmdir(path)

This method removes the directory path. However, it can only delete directories that are empty. If the directory specified by the path contains any files or other directories, os.rmdir() will raise an error.

Example:

import os

path = 'C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Os module\\New directory'
os.rmdir(path)
print(f"Directory '{os.path.basename(path)}' deleted at: {os.path.abspath(path)}")

Output:

File Deleted
File Deleted

7. os.path.getsize(path)

This method returns the size of the file specified by path in bytes.

Example:

import os

size = os.path.getsize('C:/Users/HP/Desktop/codeforgeek(python)/Os module/chdir.py')
print("size of the file in bytes is :", size)

Output:

Byte size is displayed
Byte size is displayed

8. os.path.exists(path)

This method checks whether a file or directory exists at the specified path. If it exists, it returns True, otherwise, it returns False

Example:

import os

exists = os.path.exists('C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Os module\\mkdir.py')
print("Exists:", exists)

Output:

Returns True if file exists
Returns True if the file exists

9. os.path.isfile(path)

This method returns True if path is an existing regular file.

Example:

import os

is_file = os.path.isfile('C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Os module\\mkdir.py')
print("Is file:", is_file)

Output:

Returns True as the file is regular
Returns True as the file is regular

10. os.path.isdir(path)

This method checks if the given path corresponds to a directory. It returns True if it’s a directory, otherwise False.

Example 1:

import os

is_dir = os.path.isdir('C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Streamlit')
print("Is directory:", is_dir)

Output:

Returns False as it is not the current directory
Returns False as it is not the current directory

Example 2:

import os

is_dir = os.path.isdir('C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Os module')
print("Is directory:", is_dir)

Output:

Returns True as it is the current directory
Returns True as it is the current directory

11. os.path.join(path1, path2, …)

This method combines multiple paths together to form a single path. It joins the paths using the appropriate separator for the operating system, such as

<strong>\</strong>
for Windows and
<strong>/</strong>
for Unix-like systems.

Example:

import os

path = os.path.join('C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)', 'Os module', 'mkdir.py')
print("Joined path:", path)

Output:

Displays the joined path
Displays the joined path

12. os.path.abspath(path)

This method returns the absolute version of the path. An absolute path gives the complete location of a file or directory from the root of the file system.

Example:

import os

absolute_path = os.path.abspath('chdir.py')
print("Absolute path:", absolute_path)

Output:

Displays the absolute path
Displays the absolute path

13. os.path.basename(path)

This method returns the base name of the file or directory specified by path, stripping any leading directory components.

Example:

import os

filename = os.path.basename(' C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Os module\\chdir.py')
print("Filename is :", filename)

Output:

Flashes the basename
Flashes the basename

14. os.path.dirname(path)

This method returns the directory component of the given path, excluding the last element.

Example:

import os

directory = os.path.dirname('C:\\Users\\HP\\Desktop\\codeforgeek(python)\\Os module\\chdir.py')
print("Directory is :", directory)

Output:

Flashes the directory part only
Flashes the directory part only

15. os.path.split(path)

This method separates the directory path and the filename from the given path, returning them as two strings in a tuple.

Example:

import os

head, tail = os.path.split(' C:/Users/HP/Desktop/codeforgeek(python)/Os module/chdir.py')
print("Head of the path is :", head)
print("Tail of the path is :", tail)

Output:

Shows the Head and Tail
Shows the Head and Tail

Summary

And we have reached the end of this article, I hope you now have a clear understanding of the os module in Python. It makes it easy for us to work with paths and directories, helping us to add, delete, check, split, and perform many such operations on directories with ease. Now that you know the 15 most commonly used os methods in Python, you can use them easily in the future.

If you like this one, do check out more of our Python articles –

Reference

https://docs.python.org/3/library/os.html

Snigdha Keshariya
Snigdha Keshariya
Articles: 45