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PHP | dirname( ) Function

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  • Last Updated : 26 Apr, 2018

The dirname() function in PHP is an inbuilt function which is used to return the directory name of a given path. The dirname() function is used to parent directory’s path i.e levels up from the current directory.

The dirname() function returns the path of a parent directory which includes a dot (‘.’) if the path has no slashes, indicating the current directory.


string dirname ( $path )

Parameters: The dirname() function in PHP accepts only one parameter which is $path. This parameter specifies the path to be checked.

Return Value: It returns the path of the parent directory.

Errors And Exception:

  1. While specifying a path both slashes, forward slash (/) and backslash (\) are used as directory separator character in a windows environment whereas in other environments, it is just the forward slash (/).
  2. The dirname() function operates on the input string and therefore it is not aware of the actual filesystem, or path components such as “..”.


Input : dirname("user01/geeksforgeeks/gfg.txt")
Output : user01/geeksforgeeks

Input : dirname("/geeksforgeeks/gfg.txt");
Output : /geeksforgeeks

Below programs illustrate the dirname() function:

Program 1:

// specifying path to the dirname() function
echo dirname("user01/geeksforgeeks/gfg.txt")



Program 2:

// specifying path to the dirname() function
echo dirname("/geeksforgeeks/gfg.txt");




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