Re: [Rd] list.files(recursive=T) does not return directory names

From: Henrik Bengtsson <>
Date: Sat 26 Nov 2005 - 06:14:22 GMT


the R.utils package has a function listDirectory() that returns the directory names too. (I've made some changes to the function recently, which is not in the CRAN version, so get it from instead.)

The package also has isFile() and isDirectory() to test if a pathname refers to an existing file and directory, respectively. These are not "vectorized" (yet), so you have to call them with sapply() if you have many pathnames, e.g.

 > path <- file.path(R.home(), "share")
 > ld <- listDirectory(path, recursive=TRUE, fullNames=TRUE)
 > ld[sapply(ld, isDirectory)]
  [1] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/licenses"
  [2] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/locale"   [3] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/make" ...
[27] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/perl/R" [28] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/perl/Text"  > ld[sapply(ld, isFile)]
  [1] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/licenses/Artistic"
  [2] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/licenses/BSD"
  [3] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/licenses/GPL-2"
[50] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/texmf/ts1aett.fd" [51] "C:\\PROGRA~1\\R\\rw2011pat/share/texmf/upquote.sty"

Hope this helps.

BTW, this package also have functions to read Windows Shortcuts files (*.lnk) and the function filePath("data", "raw", expandLinks="any") will recognize if any part is a shortcut to another directory, e.g. data.lnk links to another directory containing subdirectory "raw" (and directory data/ does not exist). (filePath() also not vectorized). listDirectory() does not follow Windows Shortcuts.

Henrik wrote:
> list.files() (and dir()) don't appear to return names of
> directories when one uses the recursive=T argument. E.g.,
> > dir(file.path(R.home(),"library"), pattern="^R$", recursive=T)
> [1] "Malmig/help/R"
> but the unix find commmand finds lots of R directories
> > z <- system(paste("find", file.path(R.home(),"library"), "-name R"), intern=T)
> > length(z)
> [1] 665
> >[1:3])[,1:3]
> size isdir mode
> /dept/devel/sw/R/R.linux/R/library/aCGH/R 4096 TRUE 2755
> /dept/devel/sw/R/R.linux/R/library/RBGL/R 4096 TRUE 2755
> /dept/devel/sw/R/R.linux/R/library/XML/R 4096 TRUE 2755
> The help file is silent on this behavior. I am writing
> an emulation of these for functions for Splus and was
> wondering about 3 things.
> a) Is this behavior intended?
> b) Is there an easy way to get the names of all directories
> under a given one?
> b) I would like to add an argument to list.files() to specify
> that I'd like the names of only non-directories, only directories,
> or both. I've tentatively called this argument "type" (following
> the unix find command) and the acceptable values are "files",
> "directories", and "all" (or any abbreviation). Symbolic links,
> fifos, etc. might be nice, but I don't want to fill the code
> with unixisms or tempt folks to use them. Would adding
> type = "files","directories","all"
> to list.files and dir conflict with any plans for R's list.files
> or dir?
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Bill Dunlap
> Insightful Corporation
> bill at insightful dot com
> 360-428-8146
> "Formerly known as MathSoft, Insightful Corporation provides analytical
> solutions leveraging S-PLUS, StatServer and consulting services."
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> mailing list Received on Sat Nov 26 17:18:20 2005

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