How do you get a directory listing sorted by creation date in python?


What is the best way to get a list of all files in a directory, sorted by date [created | modified], using python, on a windows machine?

Answer rating: 161

I"ve done this in the past for a Python script to determine the last updated files in a directory:

import glob
import os

search_dir = "/mydir/"
# remove anything from the list that is not a file (directories, symlinks)
# thanks to J.F. Sebastion for pointing out that the requirement was a list 
# of files (presumably not including directories)  
files = list(filter(os.path.isfile, glob.glob(search_dir + "*")))
files.sort(key=lambda x: os.path.getmtime(x))

That should do what you"re looking for based on file mtime.

EDIT: Note that you can also use os.listdir() in place of glob.glob() if desired - the reason I used glob in my original code was that I was wanting to use glob to only search for files with a particular set of file extensions, which glob() was better suited to. To use listdir here"s what it would look like:

import os

search_dir = "/mydir/"
files = filter(os.path.isfile, os.listdir(search_dir))
files = [os.path.join(search_dir, f) for f in files] # add path to each file
files.sort(key=lambda x: os.path.getmtime(x))