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Encyclopedia > Pathname

A path is the general form of a file or directory name, giving a file's name and its unique location in a file system. Paths point to their location using a string of characters signifying directories, separated by a delimiting character, most commonly the slash "/" or backslash character "", though some operating systems may use a different delimiter. Paths are used extensively in computer science to represent the folder/file relationships common in modern operating systems, and are essential in the construction of URLs. A file in a computer system is a stream (sequence) of bits stored as a single unit, typically in a file system on disk or magnetic tape. ... In computing, a directory, catalog, or folder, is an entity in a file system which contains a group of files and other directories. ... In computing, a file system is a method for storing and organizing computer files and the data they contain to make it easy to find and access them. ... Generally, string is a thin piece of fiber which is used to tie, bind, or hang other objects. ... A solidus, oblique or slash, /, is a punctuation mark. ... First introduced in 1960, the backslash, , is a typographical mark (glyph) used chiefly in computing. ... In computing, an operating system (aka, OS) is the system software responsible for the direct control and management of hardware and basic system operations. ... The term delimiter refers to a separating character. ... Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Computer Science Open Directory Project: Computer Science Downloadable Science and Computer Science books Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies Belief that title science in computer science is inappropriate Categories: | ... A Uniform Resource Locator, URL (spelled out as an acronym, not pronounced as earl), or Web address, is a standardized address name layout for resources (such as documents or images) on the Internet (or elsewhere). ...


A path can be either absolute or relative. An absolute path is a path that points to the same location on one file system regardless of the working directory or combined paths. It is usually written in reference to a root directory. For computer operating systems that support a hierarchial file system, the working directory is the directory path that a user or program has designated to be the directory for files referenced by name only, or by a relative path (as contrasted with using both a files name and a... In computer file systems, the root directory is the first or top-most directory in a hierarchy. ...


A relative path is a path relative to the current working directory, so the full absolute path may not need to be given. For computer operating systems that support a hierarchial file system, the working directory is the directory path that a user or program has designated to be the directory for files referenced by name only, or by a relative path (as contrasted with using both a files name and a...

Contents


Representations of paths by operating system

  Unix Microsoft Windows Mac OS AmigaOS
Parent-Child Direction Left-Right Left-Right Left-Right Left-Right
Root Directory / <drive letter>: <drive name>: <drive, volume or assign name>:
Directory Separator /  : /

On Unix-like operating systems, $PATH is an environment variable listing directories where common executables may be found. Wikibooks has more about this subject: Guide to UNIX Unix or UNIX is a computer operating system originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s by a group of AT&T Bell Labs employees including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and Douglas McIlroy. ... Microsoft Windows is a series of operating environments and operating systems created by Microsoft for use on personal computers and servers. ... Mac OS, which stands for Macintosh Operating System, is a range of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Computer for their Macintosh computers. ... AmigaOS is the default native operating system of the Amiga and AmigaOne personal computers. ... A Unix-like operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to the UNIX system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification. ... Environment variables are a set of dynamic values that can affect the way running processes will behave. ...


Universal Naming Convention

The Universal Naming Convention specifies a common syntax for accessing network resources, such as shared folders and printers. The syntax for Windows systems is as follows:

 computernamesharedfolderresource 

Where 'computername' is the hostname, 'sharedfolder' is a top-level shared directory, and 'resource' is a shared file or printer. The hostname may also be identified by a fully-qualified domain name or by IP address. Linux and Unix-like systems use a similar syntax, with forward slashes ( / ) in place of backward slashes ( ) [1]. A hostname (occasionally also, a sitename) is the unique name by which a network attached device ( which could consist of a computer, file server, network storage device, fax machine, copier, cable modem, etc. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Domain Name System. ... An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a unique number that devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other on a network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard. ... See Linux kernel for the kernel itself. ... A Unix-like operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification. ...


Example

Here is an example with a Unix style file system as it would appear from a terminal or terminal application (command-line window): Wikibooks has more about this subject: Guide to UNIX Unix or UNIX is a computer operating system originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s by a group of AT&T Bell Labs employees including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and Douglas McIlroy. ... In computing, a file system is a method for storing and organizing computer files and the data they contain to make it easy to find and access them. ...


Your current working directory (cwd) is: For computer operating systems that support a hierarchial file system, the working directory is the directory path that a user or program has designated to be the directory for files referenced by name only, or by a relative path (as contrasted with using both a files name and a...

 /users/mark/ 

You want to change your current working directory (cwd) to: For computer operating systems that support a hierarchial file system, the working directory is the directory path that a user or program has designated to be the directory for files referenced by name only, or by a relative path (as contrasted with using both a files name and a... For computer operating systems that support a hierarchial file system, the working directory is the directory path that a user or program has designated to be the directory for files referenced by name only, or by a relative path (as contrasted with using both a files name and a...

 /users/mark/bobapples 

At that moment, the relative path for the directory you want is: In computing, a directory, catalog, or folder, is an entity in a file system which contains a group of files and other directories. ...

 ./bobapples 

and the absolute path for the directory you want is

 /users/mark/bobapples 

Because bobapples is the relative path for the directory you want, you may type the following at the command prompt to change your current working directory to bobapples: Screenshot of a sample Bash session, taken on Linux. ...

 cd bobapples 

Two dots ("..") are used for moving up in the hierarchy, to indicate the parent directory; one dot (".") represents the directory itself. Both can be components of a complex relative path (e.g., "../mark/./bobapples"), where "." alone or as the first component of such a relative path represents the working directory. (Using "./foo" to refer to a file "foo" in the current working directory can sometimes be useful to distinguish it from a resource "foo" to be found in a default directory or by other means; for example, to view a specific version of a man page instead of the one installed in the system.) The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... For the various types of hierarchy, see hierarchy (disambiguation) A hierarchy (in Greek: Ιεραρχία, it is derived from ιερός-hieros, sacred, and άρχω-arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is subordinate to a single other element. ... For computer operating systems that support a hierarchial file system, the working directory is the directory path that a user or program has designated to be the directory for files referenced by name only, or by a relative path (as contrasted with using both a files name and a... Almost all substantial UNIX and Unix-like operating systems (*nix) have extensive documentation known as man pages (short for manual pages). The Unix command used to display them is man. ...


Windows also uses the path extensively throughout the modern editions of its operating systems and Office applications, which users can customize. By default, in Windows 98 or above, each folder and Windows Explorer window has an address bar by which you can navigate a different path, or view the path of the current working directory. Default is the name of a number of quite different concepts. ... Windows 98 (codename Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft. ... Windows Explorer running on Windows XP Windows Explorer is an application that is part of modern versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system that provides a graphical user interface for accessing the file systems. ... For computer operating systems that support a hierarchial file system, the working directory is the directory path that a user or program has designated to be the directory for files referenced by name only, or by a relative path (as contrasted with using both a files name and a...


The "find" and "search" utilities under Windows have always featured the path as a sortable option, though in Windows 95 the column was truncated by default, allowing the user to resize the "path" column manually until the path became sufficiently visible. The Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT), better known as the Moscow Treaty, is a 2002 treaty between Russia and the United States limiting their nuclear arsenal to 1700-2200 operationally deployed warheads each. ... Windows 95 (codename Chicago) is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical user interface-based operating system released on August 24, 1995 by the Microsoft Corporation. ...


In Windows 98, (and above), it is part of the metadata displayed in Windows Explorer's HTML-containing window pane above the search results if you are using the Search sidebar--a function that in Windows XP is seamlessly integrated with Explorer and Internet Explorer's Search sidebar. Metadata is data about data. ... Windows XP is a major revision of the Microsoft Windows operating system created for use on desktop and business computer systems. ...


Here are some examples of MS-DOS/Windows style paths: Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... Microsoft Windows is a series of operating environments and operating systems created by Microsoft for use on personal computers and servers. ...

 A:Tempcar.jpeg 

This pathname points to a file whose name is car.jpeg, which is located in the directory Temp, which in turn is located in the root directory of the drive A:.

 C:..Launch.avi 

This pathname refers to a file called Launch.avi located in the parent directory of the current directory on drive C:.

 Program FilesViewerviewer.exe 

This pathname denotes a file called viewer.exe located in Viewer directory which in turn is located in Program Files directory which is located in the current directory of the current drive (since no drive specification is present in this example).

 viewer.exe 

This rather simple pathname points to a file named viewer.exe located in the current directory (since no directory specification is present) on the current drive (since no drive specification is present).


See also

See path to reference other homonyms that use this nomenclature. Hodology is the study of pathways. ... The word path has a variety of meanings: a path is a route between two points. ... A path is a route between two points. ... A homonym is one of a group of two or more words that have the same phonetic form (i. ...


References

This article was originally based on material from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, which is licensed under the GFDL.

  Results from FactBites:
 
What is pathname? - A Word Definition From the Webopedia Computer Dictionary (224 words)
Every file has a name, called a filename, so the simplest type of pathname is just a filename.
If you specify a filename as the pathname, the operating system looks for that file in your current working directory.
The pathname always starts from your working directory or from the root directory.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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