DIRNAME(3) BSD Library Functions Manual DIRNAME(3)NAMEdirname — extract the directory part of a pathname
dirname(const char *path);
The dirname() function is the converse of basename(3); it returns a
pointer to the parent directory of the pathname pointed to by path. Any
trailing ‘/’ characters are not counted as part of the directory name.
If path is a null pointer, the empty string, or contains no ‘/’ charac‐
ters, dirname() returns a pointer to the string ".", signifying the cur‐
The dirname() function returns a pointer to internal storage space allo‐
cated on the first call that will be overwritten by subsequent calls.
Other vendor implementations of dirname() may modify the contents of the
string passed to dirname(); this should be taken into account when writ‐
ing code which calls this function if portability is desired.
On successful completion, dirname() returns a pointer to the parent
directory of path.
If dirname() fails, a null pointer is returned and the global variable
errno is set to indicate the error.
The following error codes may be set in errno:
[ENAMETOOLONG] The path component to be returned was larger than
SEE ALSObasename(1), dirname(1), basename(3)STANDARDS
The dirname() function conforms to X/Open Portability Guide Issue 4,
Version 2 (“XPG4.2”).
The dirname() function first appeared in OpenBSD 2.2 and FreeBSD 4.2.
Todd C. Miller
BSD October 12, 2006 BSD