Getting a list of all subdirectories in the current directory

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Is there a way to return a list of all the subdirectories in the current directory in Python?

I know you can do this with files, but I need to get the list of directories instead.

Answer rating: 756

Do you mean immediate subdirectories, or every directory right down the tree?

Either way, you could use os.walk to do this:

os.walk(directory)

will yield a tuple for each subdirectory. Ths first entry in the 3-tuple is a directory name, so

[x[0] for x in os.walk(directory)]

should give you all of the subdirectories, recursively.

Note that the second entry in the tuple is the list of child directories of the entry in the first position, so you could use this instead, but it"s not likely to save you much.

However, you could use it just to give you the immediate child directories:

next(os.walk("."))[1]

Or see the other solutions already posted, using os.listdir and os.path.isdir, including those at "How to get all of the immediate subdirectories in Python".

Answer rating: 226

You could just use glob.glob

from glob import glob
glob("/path/to/directory/*/")

Don"t forget the trailing / after the *.

Answer rating: 198

import os

d = "."
[os.path.join(d, o) for o in os.listdir(d) 
                    if os.path.isdir(os.path.join(d,o))]

Answer rating: 179

Much nicer than the above, because you don"t need several os.path.join() and you will get the full path directly (if you wish), you can do this in Python 3.5 and above.

subfolders = [ f.path for f in os.scandir(folder) if f.is_dir() ]

This will give the complete path to the subdirectory. If you only want the name of the subdirectory use f.name instead of f.path

https://docs.python.org/3/library/os.html#os.scandir


Slightly OT: In case you need all subfolder recursively and/or all files recursively, have a look at this function, that is faster than os.walk & glob and will return a list of all subfolders as well as all files inside those (sub-)subfolders: https://stackoverflow.com/a/59803793/2441026

In case you want only all subfolders recursively:

def fast_scandir(dirname):
    subfolders= [f.path for f in os.scandir(dirname) if f.is_dir()]
    for dirname in list(subfolders):
        subfolders.extend(fast_scandir(dirname))
    return subfolders

Returns a list of all subfolders with their full paths. This again is faster than os.walk and a lot faster than glob.


An analysis of all functions

tl;dr:
- If you want to get all immediate subdirectories for a folder use os.scandir.
- If you want to get all subdirectories, even nested ones, use os.walk or - slightly faster - the fast_scandir function above.
- Never use os.walk for only top-level subdirectories, as it can be hundreds(!) of times slower than os.scandir.

  • If you run the code below, make sure to run it once so that your OS will have accessed the folder, discard the results and run the test, otherwise results will be screwed.
  • You might want to mix up the function calls, but I tested it, and it did not really matter.
  • All examples will give the full path to the folder. The pathlib example as a (Windows)Path object.
  • The first element of os.walk will be the base folder. So you will not get only subdirectories. You can use fu.pop(0) to remove it.
  • None of the results will use natural sorting. This means results will be sorted like this: 1, 10, 2. To get natural sorting (1, 2, 10), please have a look at https://stackoverflow.com/a/48030307/2441026


Results:

os.scandir      took   1 ms. Found dirs: 439
os.walk         took 463 ms. Found dirs: 441 -> it found the nested one + base folder.
glob.glob       took  20 ms. Found dirs: 439
pathlib.iterdir took  18 ms. Found dirs: 439
os.listdir      took  18 ms. Found dirs: 439

Tested with W7x64, Python 3.8.1.

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
# Python 3


import time
import os
from glob import glob
from pathlib import Path


directory = r"<insert_folder>"
RUNS = 1


def run_os_walk():
    a = time.time_ns()
    for i in range(RUNS):
        fu = [x[0] for x in os.walk(directory)]
    print(f"os.walk			took {(time.time_ns() - a) / 1000 / 1000 / RUNS:.0f} ms. Found dirs: {len(fu)}")


def run_glob():
    a = time.time_ns()
    for i in range(RUNS):
        fu = glob(directory + "/*/")
    print(f"glob.glob		took {(time.time_ns() - a) / 1000 / 1000 / RUNS:.0f} ms. Found dirs: {len(fu)}")


def run_pathlib_iterdir():
    a = time.time_ns()
    for i in range(RUNS):
        dirname = Path(directory)
        fu = [f for f in dirname.iterdir() if f.is_dir()]
    print(f"pathlib.iterdir	took {(time.time_ns() - a) / 1000 / 1000 / RUNS:.0f} ms. Found dirs: {len(fu)}")


def run_os_listdir():
    a = time.time_ns()
    for i in range(RUNS):
        dirname = Path(directory)
        fu = [os.path.join(directory, o) for o in os.listdir(directory) if os.path.isdir(os.path.join(directory, o))]
    print(f"os.listdir		took {(time.time_ns() - a) / 1000 / 1000 / RUNS:.0f} ms. Found dirs: {len(fu)}")


def run_os_scandir():
    a = time.time_ns()
    for i in range(RUNS):
        fu = [f.path for f in os.scandir(directory) if f.is_dir()]
    print(f"os.scandir		took {(time.time_ns() - a) / 1000 / 1000 / RUNS:.0f} ms.	Found dirs: {len(fu)}")


if __name__ == "__main__":
    run_os_scandir()
    run_os_walk()
    run_glob()
    run_pathlib_iterdir()
    run_os_listdir()




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