extract the directory portion of a
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 ‘/’ characters,
returns a pointer to the string ".", signifying the current
On successful completion,
returns a pointer to the parent directory of path.
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:
- The path component to be returned was larger than
basename(1), dirname(1), basename(3)
dirname() function conforms to
X/Open Portability Guide Issue 4, Version 2
dirname() function first appeared in
Todd C. Miller
dirname() returns a pointer to internal
static storage space that will be overwritten by subsequent calls (each
function has its own separate storage).
Other vendor implementations of
may modify the contents of the string passed to
dirname(); this should be taken into account when
writing code which calls this function if portability is desired.