How to interact with file paths and manipulate them in Node
Every file in the system has a path.
On Linux and macOS, a path might look like:
while Windows computers are different, and have a structure such as:
You need to pay attention when using paths in your applications, as this difference must be taken into account.
You include this module in your files using
const path = require('path')
and you can start using its methods.
Getting information out of a path
Given a path, you can extract information out of it using those methods:
dirname: get the parent folder of a file
basename: get the filename part
extname: get the file extension
const notes = '/users/flavio/notes.txt' path.dirname(notes) // /users/flavio path.basename(notes) // notes.txt path.extname(notes) // .txt
You can get the file name without the extension by specifying a second argument to
path.basename(notes, path.extname(notes)) //notes
Working with paths
You can join two or more parts of a path by using
const name = 'flavio' path.join('/', 'users', name, 'notes.txt') //'/users/flavio/notes.txt'
You can get the absolute path calculation of a relative path using
path.resolve('flavio.txt') //'/Users/flavio/flavio.txt' if run from my home folder
In this case Node will simply append
/flavio.txt to the current working directory. If you specify a second parameter folder,
resolve will use the first as a base for the second:
path.resolve('tmp', 'flavio.txt')//'/Users/flavio/tmp/flavio.txt' if run from my home folder
If the first parameter starts with a slash, that means it's an absolute path:
path.normalize() is another useful function, that will try and calculate the actual path, when it contains relative specifiers like
.., or double slashes:
Both resolve and normalize will not check if the path exists. They just calculate a path based on the information they got.