Every file in the system has a path. On Linux and macOS, a path might look like:
/users/joe/file.txt 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('node:path'); and you can start using its methods.
Given a path, you can extract information out of it using those methods:
dirname: gets the parent folder of a file
basename: gets the filename part
extname: gets the file extension
const path = require('node:path'); const notes = '/users/joe/notes.txt'; path.dirname(notes); // /users/joe 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
You can join two or more parts of a path by using
const name = 'joe'; path.join('/', 'users', name, 'notes.txt'); // '/users/joe/notes.txt'
You can get the absolute path calculation of a relative path using
path.resolve('joe.txt'); // '/Users/joe/joe.txt' if run from my home folder
In this case Node.js will simply append
/joe.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', 'joe.txt'); // '/Users/joe/tmp/joe.txt' if run from my home folder
If the first parameter starts with a slash, that means it's an absolute path:
path.resolve('/etc', 'joe.txt'); // '/etc/joe.txt'
path.normalize() is another useful function, that will try and calculate the actual path, when it contains relative specifiers like
.., or double slashes:
path.normalize('/users/joe/..//test.txt'); // '/users/test.txt'
Neither resolve nor normalize will check if the path exists. They just calculate a path based on the information they got.