• Uncategorized

About c++ : How-can-I-create-directory-tree-in-CLinux

Question Detail

I want an easy way to create multiple directories in C++/Linux.

For example I want to save a file lola.file in the directory:

/tmp/a/b/c

but if the directories are not there I want them to be created automagically. A working example would be perfect.

Question Answer

Easy with Boost.Filesystem: create_directories

#include <boost/filesystem.hpp>
//...
boost::filesystem::create_directories("/tmp/a/b/c");

Returns: true if a new directory was created, otherwise false.

With C++17 or later, there’s the standard header <filesystem> with
function
std::filesystem::create_directories
which should be used in modern C++ programs.
The C++ standard functions do not have the POSIX-specific explicit
permissions (mode) argument, though.

However, here’s a C function that can be compiled with C++ compilers.

/*
@(#)File:           mkpath.c
@(#)Purpose:        Create all directories in path
@(#)Author:         J Leffler
@(#)Copyright:      (C) JLSS 1990-2020
@(#)Derivation:     mkpath.c 1.16 2020/06/19 15:08:10
*/

/*TABSTOP=4*/

#include "posixver.h"
#include "mkpath.h"
#include "emalloc.h"

#include <errno.h>
#include <string.h>
/* "sysstat.h" == <sys/stat.h> with fixup for (old) Windows - inc mode_t */
#include "sysstat.h"

typedef struct stat Stat;

static int do_mkdir(const char *path, mode_t mode)
{
    Stat            st;
    int             status = 0;

    if (stat(path, &st) != 0)
    {
        /* Directory does not exist. EEXIST for race condition */
        if (mkdir(path, mode) != 0 && errno != EEXIST)
            status = -1;
    }
    else if (!S_ISDIR(st.st_mode))
    {
        errno = ENOTDIR;
        status = -1;
    }

    return(status);
}

/**
** mkpath - ensure all directories in path exist
** Algorithm takes the pessimistic view and works top-down to ensure
** each directory in path exists, rather than optimistically creating
** the last element and working backwards.
*/
int mkpath(const char *path, mode_t mode)
{
    char           *pp;
    char           *sp;
    int             status;
    char           *copypath = STRDUP(path);

    status = 0;
    pp = copypath;
    while (status == 0 && (sp = strchr(pp, '/')) != 0)
    {
        if (sp != pp)
        {
            /* Neither root nor double slash in path */
            *sp = '\0';
            status = do_mkdir(copypath, mode);
            *sp = '/';
        }
        pp = sp + 1;
    }
    if (status == 0)
        status = do_mkdir(path, mode);
    FREE(copypath);
    return (status);
}

#ifdef TEST

#include <stdio.h>
#include <unistd.h>

/*
** Stress test with parallel running of mkpath() function.
** Before the EEXIST test, code would fail.
** With the EEXIST test, code does not fail.
**
** Test shell script
** PREFIX=mkpath.$$
** NAME=./$PREFIX/sa/32/ad/13/23/13/12/13/sd/ds/ww/qq/ss/dd/zz/xx/dd/rr/ff/ff/ss/ss/ss/ss/ss/ss/ss/ss
** : ${MKPATH:=mkpath}
** ./$MKPATH $NAME &
** [...repeat a dozen times or so...]
** ./$MKPATH $NAME &
** wait
** rm -fr ./$PREFIX/
*/

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
    int             i;

    for (i = 1; i < argc; i++)
    {
        for (int j = 0; j < 20; j++)
        {
            if (fork() == 0)
            {
                int rc = mkpath(argv[i], 0777);
                if (rc != 0)
                    fprintf(stderr, "%d: failed to create (%d: %s): %s\n",
                            (int)getpid(), errno, strerror(errno), argv[i]);
                exit(rc == 0 ? EXIT_SUCCESS : EXIT_FAILURE);
            }
        }
        int status;
        int fail = 0;
        while (wait(&status) != -1)
        {
            if (WEXITSTATUS(status) != 0)
                fail = 1;
        }
        if (fail == 0)
            printf("created: %s\n", argv[i]);
    }
    return(0);
}

#endif /* TEST */

The macros STRDUP() and FREE() are error-checking versions of
strdup() and free(), declared in emalloc.h (and implemented in
emalloc.c and estrdup.c).
The "sysstat.h" header deals with broken versions of <sys/stat.h>
and can be replaced by <sys/stat.h> on modern Unix systems (but there
were many issues back in 1990).
And "mkpath.h" declares mkpath().

The change between v1.12 (original version of the answer) and v1.13
(amended version of the answer) was the test for EEXIST in
do_mkdir().
This was pointed out as necessary by
Switch — thank
you, Switch.
The test code has been upgraded and reproduced the problem on a MacBook
Pro (2.3GHz Intel Core i7, running Mac OS X 10.7.4), and suggests that
the problem is fixed in the revision (but testing can only show the
presence of bugs, never their absence).
The code shown is now v1.16; there have been cosmetic or administrative
changes made since v1.13 (such as use mkpath.h instead of jlss.h and
include <unistd.h> unconditionally in the test code only).
It’s reasonable to argue that "sysstat.h" should be replaced by
<sys/stat.h> unless you have an unusually recalcitrant system.

(You are hereby given permission to use this code for any purpose with attribution.)

This code is available in my SOQ
(Stack Overflow Questions) repository on GitHub as files mkpath.c and
mkpath.h (etc.) in the
src/so-0067-5039
sub-directory.

system("mkdir -p /tmp/a/b/c")

is the shortest way I can think of (in terms of the length of code, not necessarily execution time).

It’s not cross-platform but will work under Linux.

Here is my example of code (it works for both Windows and Linux):

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <sys/stat.h> // stat
#include <errno.h>    // errno, ENOENT, EEXIST
#if defined(_WIN32)
#include <direct.h>   // _mkdir
#endif

bool isDirExist(const std::string& path)
{
#if defined(_WIN32)
    struct _stat info;
    if (_stat(path.c_str(), &info) != 0)
    {
        return false;
    }
    return (info.st_mode & _S_IFDIR) != 0;
#else 
    struct stat info;
    if (stat(path.c_str(), &info) != 0)
    {
        return false;
    }
    return (info.st_mode & S_IFDIR) != 0;
#endif
}

bool makePath(const std::string& path)
{
#if defined(_WIN32)
    int ret = _mkdir(path.c_str());
#else
    mode_t mode = 0755;
    int ret = mkdir(path.c_str(), mode);
#endif
    if (ret == 0)
        return true;

    switch (errno)
    {
    case ENOENT:
        // parent didn't exist, try to create it
        {
            int pos = path.find_last_of('/');
            if (pos == std::string::npos)
#if defined(_WIN32)
                pos = path.find_last_of('\\');
            if (pos == std::string::npos)
#endif
                return false;
            if (!makePath( path.substr(0, pos) ))
                return false;
        }
        // now, try to create again
#if defined(_WIN32)
        return 0 == _mkdir(path.c_str());
#else 
        return 0 == mkdir(path.c_str(), mode);
#endif

    case EEXIST:
        // done!
        return isDirExist(path);

    default:
        return false;
    }
}

int main(int argc, char* ARGV[])
{
    for (int i=1; i<argc; i++)
    {
        std::cout << "creating " << ARGV[i] << " ... " << (makePath(ARGV[i]) ? "OK" : "failed") << std::endl;
    }
    return 0;
}

Usage:

$ makePath 1/2 folderA/folderB/folderC
creating 1/2 ... OK
creating folderA/folderB/folderC ... OK

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>

int status;
...
status = mkdir("/tmp/a/b/c", S_IRWXU | S_IRWXG | S_IROTH | S_IXOTH);

From here. You may have to do separate mkdirs for /tmp, /tmp/a, /tmp/a/b/ and then /tmp/a/b/c because there isn’t an equivalent of the -p flag in the C api. Be sure and ignore the EEXISTS errno while you’re doing the upper level ones.

It should be noted that starting from C++17 filesystem interface is part of the standard library. This means that one can have following to create directories:

#include <filesystem>

std::filesystem::create_directories("/a/b/c/d")

More info here: https://en.cppreference.com/w/cpp/filesystem/create_directory

Additionally, with gcc, one needs to “-std=c++17” to CFLAGS. And “-lstdc++fs” to LDLIBS. The latter potentially is not going to be required in the future.

This is similar to the previous but works forward through the string instead of recursively backwards. Leaves errno with the right value for last failure. If there’s a leading slash, there’s an extra time through the loop which could have been avoided via one find_first_of() outside the loop or by detecting the leading / and setting pre to 1. The efficiency is the same whether we get set up by a first loop or a pre loop call, and the complexity would be (slightly) higher when using the pre-loop call.

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <sys/stat.h>

int
mkpath(std::string s,mode_t mode)
{
    size_t pos=0;
    std::string dir;
    int mdret;

    if(s[s.size()-1]!='/'){
        // force trailing / so we can handle everything in loop
        s+='/';
    }

    while((pos=s.find_first_of('/',pos))!=std::string::npos){
        dir=s.substr(0,pos++);
        if(dir.size()==0) continue; // if leading / first time is 0 length
        if((mdret=mkdir(dir.c_str(),mode)) && errno!=EEXIST){
            return mdret;
        }
    }
    return mdret;
}

int main()
{
    int mkdirretval;
    mkdirretval=mkpath("./foo/bar",0755);
    std::cout << mkdirretval << '\n';

}

You said “C++” but everyone here seems to be thinking “Bash shell.”

Check out the source code to gnu mkdir; then you can see how to implement the shell commands in C++.

bool mkpath( std::string path )
{
    bool bSuccess = false;
    int nRC = ::mkdir( path.c_str(), 0775 );
    if( nRC == -1 )
    {
        switch( errno )
        {
            case ENOENT:
                //parent didn't exist, try to create it
                if( mkpath( path.substr(0, path.find_last_of('/')) ) )
                    //Now, try to create again.
                    bSuccess = 0 == ::mkdir( path.c_str(), 0775 );
                else
                    bSuccess = false;
                break;
            case EEXIST:
                //Done!
                bSuccess = true;
                break;
            default:
                bSuccess = false;
                break;
        }
    }
    else
        bSuccess = true;
    return bSuccess;
}

So I need mkdirp() today, and found the solutions on this page overly complicated.
Hence I wrote a fairly short snippet, that easily be copied in for others who
stumble upon this thread an wonder why we need so many lines of code.

mkdirp.h

#ifndef MKDIRP_H
#define MKDIRP_H

#include <sys/stat.h>

#define DEFAULT_MODE      S_IRWXU | S_IRGRP |  S_IXGRP | S_IROTH | S_IXOTH

/** Utility function to create directory tree */
bool mkdirp(const char* path, mode_t mode = DEFAULT_MODE);

#endif // MKDIRP_H

mkdirp.cpp

#include <errno.h>

bool mkdirp(const char* path, mode_t mode) {
  // const cast for hack
  char* p = const_cast<char*>(path);

  // Do mkdir for each slash until end of string or error
  while (*p != '\0') {
    // Skip first character
    p++;

    // Find first slash or end
    while(*p != '\0' && *p != '/') p++;

    // Remember value from p
    char v = *p;

    // Write end of string at p
    *p = '\0';

    // Create folder from path to '\0' inserted at p
    if(mkdir(path, mode) == -1 && errno != EEXIST) {
      *p = v;
      return false;
    }

    // Restore path to it's former glory
    *p = v;
  }

  return true;
}

If you don’t like const casting and temporarily modifying the string, just do a strdup() and free() it afterwards.

Since this post is ranking high in Google for “Create Directory Tree”, I am going to post an answer that will work for Windows — this will work using Win32 API compiled for UNICODE or MBCS. This is ported from Mark’s code above.

Since this is Windows we are working with, directory separators are BACK-slashes, not forward slashes. If you would rather have forward slashes, change '\\' to '/'

It will work with:

c:\foo\bar\hello\world

and

c:\foo\bar\hellp\world\

(i.e.: does not need trailing slash, so you don’t have to check for it.)

Before saying “Just use SHCreateDirectoryEx() in Windows”, note that SHCreateDirectoryEx() is deprecated and could be removed at any time from future versions of Windows.

bool CreateDirectoryTree(LPCTSTR szPathTree, LPSECURITY_ATTRIBUTES lpSecurityAttributes = NULL){
    bool bSuccess = false;
    const BOOL bCD = CreateDirectory(szPathTree, lpSecurityAttributes);
    DWORD dwLastError = 0;
    if(!bCD){
        dwLastError = GetLastError();
    }else{
        return true;
    }
    switch(dwLastError){
        case ERROR_ALREADY_EXISTS:
            bSuccess = true;
            break;
        case ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND:
            {
                TCHAR szPrev[MAX_PATH] = {0};
                LPCTSTR szLast = _tcsrchr(szPathTree,'\\');
                _tcsnccpy(szPrev,szPathTree,(int)(szLast-szPathTree));
                if(CreateDirectoryTree(szPrev,lpSecurityAttributes)){
                    bSuccess = CreateDirectory(szPathTree,lpSecurityAttributes)!=0;
                    if(!bSuccess){
                        bSuccess = (GetLastError()==ERROR_ALREADY_EXISTS);
                    }
                }else{
                    bSuccess = false;
                }
            }
            break;
        default:
            bSuccess = false;
            break;
    }

    return bSuccess;
}

I know it’s an old question but it shows up high on google search results and the answers provided here are not really in C++ or are a bit too complicated.

Please note that in my example createDirTree() is very simple because all the heavy lifting (error checking, path validation) needs to be done by createDir() anyway. Also createDir() should return true if directory already exists or the whole thing won’t work.

Here’s how I would do that in C++:

#include <iostream>
#include <string>

bool createDir(const std::string dir)
{
    std::cout << "Make sure dir is a valid path, it does not exist and create it: "
              << dir << std::endl;
    return true;
}

bool createDirTree(const std::string full_path)
{
    size_t pos = 0;
    bool ret_val = true;

    while(ret_val == true && pos != std::string::npos)
    {
        pos = full_path.find('/', pos + 1);
        ret_val = createDir(full_path.substr(0, pos));
    }

    return ret_val;
}

int main()
{
    createDirTree("/tmp/a/b/c");
    return 0;
}

Of course createDir() function will be system-specific and there are already enough examples in other answers how to write it for linux, so I decided to skip it.

So many approaches has been described here but most of them need hard coding of your path into your code.
There is an easy solution for that problem, using QDir and QFileInfo, two classes of Qt framework. Since your already in Linux environment it should be easy to use Qt.

QString qStringFileName("path/to/the/file/that/dont/exist.txt");
QDir dir = QFileInfo(qStringFileName).dir();
if(!dir.exists()) {
        dir.mkpath(dir.path());
}

Make sure you have write access to that Path.

If dir does not exist, create it:

boost::filesystem::create_directories(boost::filesystem::path(output_file).parent_path().string().c_str()); 

Here’s C/C++ recursive function that makes use of dirname() to traverse bottom-up the directory tree. It will stop as soon as it finds an existing ancestor.

#include <libgen.h>
#include <string.h>

int create_dir_tree_recursive(const char *path, const mode_t mode)
{
    if (strcmp(path, "/") == 0) // No need of checking if we are at root.
        return 0;

    // Check whether this dir exists or not.
    struct stat st;
    if (stat(path, &st) != 0 || !S_ISDIR(st.st_mode))
    {
        // Check and create parent dir tree first.
        char *path2 = strdup(path);
        char *parent_dir_path = dirname(path2);
        if (create_dir_tree_recursive(parent_dir_path, mode) == -1)
            return -1;

        // Create this dir.
        if (mkdir(path, mode) == -1)
            return -1;
    }

    return 0;
}

mkdir -p /dir/to/the/file

touch /dir/to/the/file/thefile.ending

If you don’t have C++17 yet and look for a platform agnostic solution, use ghc::filesystem. The header-ony code is compatible to C++17 (in fact a backport) and easy to migrate later on.

The others got you the right answer, but I thought I’d demonstrate another neat thing you can do:

mkdir -p /tmp/a/{b,c}/d

Will create the following paths:

/tmp/a/b/d
/tmp/a/c/d

The braces allow you to create multiple directories at once on the same level of the hierarchy, whereas the -p option means “create parent directories as needed”.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.