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Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006


(PHP 3, PHP 4, PHP 5)

dirname -- Returns directory name component of path


string dirname ( string path )

Given a string containing a path to a file, this function will return the name of the directory.

On Windows, both slash (/) and backslash (\) are used as directory separator character. In other environments, it is the forward slash (/).

Example 1. dirname() example

$path = "/etc/passwd";
$file = dirname($path); // $file is set to "/etc"

Note: In PHP 4.0.3, dirname() was fixed to be POSIX-compliant. Essentially, this means that if there are no slashes in path , a dot ('.') is returned, indicating the current directory. Otherwise, the returned string is path with any trailing /component removed. Note that this means that you will often get a slash or a dot back from dirname() in situations where the older functionality would have given you the empty string.

dirname() has changed its behaviour in PHP 4.3.0. Check the following examples:


//before PHP 4.3.0
dirname('c:/'); // returned '.'

//after PHP 4.3.0
dirname('c:/'); // returns 'c:'


dirname() has been binary safe since PHP 5.0.0

See also basename(), pathinfo(), and realpath().

Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006