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This documentation covers IPython versions 6.0 and higher. Beginning with version 6.0, IPython stopped supporting compatibility with Python versions lower than 3.3 including all versions of Python 2.7.

If you are looking for an IPython version compatible with Python 2.7, please use the IPython 5.x LTS release and refer to its documentation (LTS is the long term support release).

Module: utils.path

Utilities for path handling.

1 Class

class IPython.utils.path.HomeDirError

Bases: Exception

15 Functions


Expand a path into its long form.

On Windows this expands any ~ in the paths. On other platforms, it is a null operation.


Reverse of os.path.expanduser()


Return a valid python filename in the current directory.

If the given name is not a file, it adds ‘.py’ and searches again. Raises IOError with an informative message if the file isn’t found.

IPython.utils.path.filefind(filename: str, path_dirs=None) str

Find a file by looking through a sequence of paths.

This iterates through a sequence of paths looking for a file and returns the full, absolute path of the first occurrence of the file. If no set of path dirs is given, the filename is tested as is, after running through expandvars() and expanduser(). Thus a simple call:


will find the file in the current working dir, but:


Will find the file in the users home directory. This function does not automatically try any paths, such as the cwd or the user’s home directory.

  • filename (str) – The filename to look for.

  • path_dirs (str, None or sequence of str) – The sequence of paths to look for the file in. If None, the filename need to be absolute or be in the cwd. If a string, the string is put into a sequence and the searched. If a sequence, walk through each element and join with filename, calling expandvars() and expanduser() before testing for existence.


path – returns absolute path to file.

Return type:




IPython.utils.path.get_home_dir(require_writable=False) str

Return the ‘home’ directory, as a unicode string.

Uses os.path.expanduser(‘~’), and checks for writability.

See stdlib docs for how this is determined. For Python <3.8, $HOME is first priority on ALL platforms. For Python >=3.8 on Windows, %HOME% is no longer considered.


require_writable (bool [default: False]) –

if True:

guarantees the return value is a writable directory, otherwise raises HomeDirError

if False:

The path is resolved, but it is not guaranteed to exist or be writable.


Return the XDG_CONFIG_HOME, if it is defined and exists, else None.

This is only for non-OS X posix (Linux,Unix,etc.) systems.


Return the XDG_CACHE_HOME, if it is defined and exists, else None.

This is only for non-OS X posix (Linux,Unix,etc.) systems.


Expand $VARS and ~names in a string, like a shell


In [2]: os.environ[‘FOO’]=’test’

In [3]: expand_path(‘variable FOO is $FOO’) Out[3]: ‘variable FOO is test’


Unescape glob pattern in string.


Do glob expansion for each element in args and return a flattened list.

Unmatched glob pattern will remain as-is in the returned list.

IPython.utils.path.target_outdated(target, deps)

Determine whether a target is out of date.

target_outdated(target,deps) -> 1/0

deps: list of filenames which MUST exist. target: single filename which may or may not exist.

If target doesn’t exist or is older than any file listed in deps, return true, otherwise return false.

Deprecated since version 8.22.

IPython.utils.path.target_update(target, deps, cmd)

Update a target with a given command given a list of dependencies.

target_update(target,deps,cmd) -> runs cmd if target is outdated.

This is just a wrapper around target_outdated() which calls the given command if target is outdated.

Deprecated since version 8.22.

Hard links src to dst, returning 0 or errno.

Note that the special errno ENOLINK will be returned if os.link isn’t supported by the operating system.

Attempts to hardlink src to dst, copying if the link fails.

Attempts to maintain the semantics of shutil.copy.

Because os.link does not overwrite files, a unique temporary file will be used if the target already exists, then that file will be moved into place.

IPython.utils.path.ensure_dir_exists(path, mode=493)

ensure that a directory exists

If it doesn’t exist, try to create it and protect against a race condition if another process is doing the same.

The default permissions are 755, which differ from os.makedirs default of 777.