How to move a file?

1030

I looked into the Python os interface, but was unable to locate a method to move a file. How would I do the equivalent of $ mv ... in Python?

>>> source_files = '/PATH/TO/FOLDER/*'
>>> destination_folder = 'PATH/TO/FOLDER'
>>> # equivalent of $ mv source_files destination_folder

This question is tagged with python file file-handling

~ Asked on 2012-01-13 22:17:58

The Best Answer is


1566

os.rename(), shutil.move(), or os.replace()

All employ the same syntax:

import os
import shutil

os.rename("path/to/current/file.foo", "path/to/new/destination/for/file.foo")
shutil.move("path/to/current/file.foo", "path/to/new/destination/for/file.foo")
os.replace("path/to/current/file.foo", "path/to/new/destination/for/file.foo")

Note that you must include the file name (file.foo) in both the source and destination arguments. If it is changed, the file will be renamed as well as moved.

Note also that in the first two cases the directory in which the new file is being created must already exist. On Windows, a file with that name must not exist or an exception will be raised, but os.replace() will silently replace a file even in that occurrence.

As has been noted in comments on other answers, shutil.move simply calls os.rename in most cases. However, if the destination is on a different disk than the source, it will instead copy and then delete the source file.

~ Answered on 2012-01-13 22:19:58


264

Although os.rename() and shutil.move() will both rename files, the command that is closest to the Unix mv command is shutil.move(). The difference is that os.rename() doesn't work if the source and destination are on different disks, while shutil.move() doesn't care what disk the files are on.

~ Answered on 2013-05-30 21:12:13


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