A directory is a kind of file that contains other files entered under various names. Directories are a feature of the file system.
Emacs can list the names of the files in a directory as a Lisp list, or display the names in a buffer using the
ls shell command. In the latter case, it can optionally display information about each file, depending on the options passed to the
function directory-files directory \&optional full-name match-regexp nosort
This function returns a list of the names of the files in the directory
directory. By default, the list is in alphabetical order.
full-name is non-
nil, the function returns the files’ absolute file names. Otherwise, it returns the names relative to the specified directory.
match-regexp is non-
nil, this function returns only those file names that contain a match for that regular expression—the other file names are excluded from the list. On case-insensitive filesystems, the regular expression matching is case-insensitive.
nosort is non-
directory-files does not sort the list, so you get the file names in no particular order. Use this if you want the utmost possible speed and don’t care what order the files are processed in. If the order of processing is visible to the user, then the user will probably be happier if you do sort the names.
⇒ ("#foo#" "#foo.el#" "." ".."
An error is signaled if
directory is not the name of a directory that can be read.
function directory-files-recursively directory regexp \&optional include-directories predicate follow-symlinks
Return all files under
directory whose names match
regexp. This function searches the specified
directory and its sub-directories, recursively, for files whose basenames (i.e., without the leading directories) match the specified
regexp, and returns a list of the absolute file names of the matching files (see absolute file names). The file names are returned in depth-first order, meaning that files in some sub-directory are returned before the files in its parent directory. In addition, matching files found in each subdirectory are sorted alphabetically by their basenames. By default, directories whose names match
regexp are omitted from the list, but if the optional argument
include-directories is non-
nil, they are included.
By default, all subdirectories are descended into. If
t, errors when trying to descend into a subdirectory (for instance, if it’s not readable by this user) are ignored. If it’s neither
t, it should be a function that takes one parameter (the subdirectory name) and should return non-
nil if the directory is to be descended into.
Symbolic links to subdirectories are not followed by default, but if
follow-symlinks is non-
nil, they are followed.
function locate-dominating-file file name
file, go up the directory tree hierarchy looking for the first directory where
name, a string, exists, and return that directory. If
file is a file, its directory will serve as the starting point for the search; otherwise
file should be a directory from which to start. The function looks in the starting directory, then in its parent, then in its parent’s parent, etc., until it either finds a directory with
name or reaches the root directory of the filesystem without finding
name – in the latter case the function returns
name can also be a predicate function. The predicate is called for every directory examined by the function, starting from
file (even if
file is not a directory). It is called with one argument (the file or directory) and should return non-
nil if that directory is the one it is looking for.
function directory-files-and-attributes directory \&optional full-name match-regexp nosort id-format
This is similar to
directory-files in deciding which files to report on and how to report their names. However, instead of returning a list of file names, it returns for each file a list
(filename . attributes), where
attributes is what
file-attributes returns for that file. The optional argument
id-format has the same meaning as the corresponding argument to
file-attributes (see Definition of file-attributes).
function file-expand-wildcards pattern \&optional full
This function expands the wildcard pattern
pattern, returning a list of file names that match it.
pattern is written as an absolute file name, the values are absolute also.
pattern is written as a relative file name, it is interpreted relative to the current default directory. The file names returned are normally also relative to the current default directory. However, if
full is non-
nil, they are absolute.
function insert-directory file switches \&optional wildcard full-directory-p
This function inserts (in the current buffer) a directory listing for directory
file, formatted with
ls according to
switches. It leaves point after the inserted text.
switches may be a string of options, or a list of strings representing individual options.
file may be either a directory or a file specification including wildcard characters. If
wildcard is non-
nil, that means treat
file as a file specification with wildcards.
full-directory-p is non-
nil, that means the directory listing is expected to show the full contents of a directory. You should specify
file is a directory and switches do not contain ‘
-d’. (The ‘
-d’ option to
ls says to describe a directory itself as a file, rather than showing its contents.)
On most systems, this function works by running a directory listing program whose name is in the variable
wildcard is non-
nil, it also runs the shell specified by
shell-file-name, to expand the wildcards.
MS-DOS and MS-Windows systems usually lack the standard Unix program
ls, so this function emulates the standard Unix program
ls with Lisp code.
As a technical detail, when
switches contains the long ‘
insert-directory treats it specially, for the sake of dired. However, the normally equivalent short ‘
-D’ option is just passed on to
insert-directory-program, as any other option.
This variable’s value is the program to run to generate a directory listing for the function
insert-directory. It is ignored on systems which generate the listing with Lisp code.