Suppose I have a bash file called myBash.bash. It resides in:


Now I want to use the string /myDirect/myFolder (the location of myBash.bash) inside the script. Is there a command I can use to find this location?

Edit: The idea is that I want to set-up a zip-folder with code that can be started by a bash script inside that zip-file. I know the relative file-paths of the code inside that zip-file, but not the absolute paths, and I need those. One way would be to hard-code in the path, or require the path of the file to be given as a variable. However I would find it easier if it was possible for the bash-file to figure out where it is on its own and then create the relevant paths to the other file from its knowledge of the structure of the zip-file.

  • 4
    This might be better suited for stackoverflow. Check these questions: stackoverflow.com/questions/4774054/… stackoverflow.com/questions/59895/….
    – Sethos II
    Mar 17, 2017 at 8:41
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    use how.? please clarify Mar 17, 2017 at 8:46
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    @SethosII this question is totally on topic here
    – Zanna
    Mar 17, 2017 at 8:47
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    I added more context to the question. I thought there might be an easy/obvious command to get the file-path of the file that is executing, but it seems the answer is at least non-obvious.
    – dimpol
    Mar 17, 2017 at 9:10
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    @Zanna I don't say it's offtopic, i think it's just more appropriate and as shown with the links already asked and answered there multiple times.
    – Sethos II
    Mar 17, 2017 at 9:16

4 Answers 4


You can get the full path like:

realpath "$0"

And as pointed out by Serg you can use dirname to strip the filename like this

dirname "$(realpath $0)"

or even better to prevent awkward quoting and word-splitting with difficult filenames:

temp=$( realpath "$0"  ) && dirname "$temp"

Much better than my earlier idea which was to parse it (I knew there would be a better way!)

realpath "$0" | sed 's|\(.*\)/.*|\1|'


  • realpath returns the actual path of a file
  • $0 is this file (the script)
  • s|old|new| replace old with new
  • \(.*\)/ save any characters before / for later
  • \1 the saved part
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    +1 for use of $0 and sed magic. But the said sed magic is really unnecessary when tools like dirname exist Mar 17, 2017 at 9:42
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    you already have the answer , use realpath: realpath "$( dirname $0 )" I personally would use readlink but that's me: readlink -e $(dirname $0) Mar 17, 2017 at 9:53
  • @Serg: Wouldn't dirname "$(realpath "$0")" be better? Usually one wants to know the parent directory of the referenced file instead of the parent directory of the symbolic link referring to said file. Mar 17, 2017 at 14:22
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    @Serg "$(dirname "$(realpath "$0")")" is the most straightforward way. Quotes inside $() work as normal. Mar 17, 2017 at 20:01
  • @DepressedDaniel Did a bit of research online, you're right: $() being a subshell will allow having quotes outside. I wouldn't say it's as straightforward though, unless one realizes $() are all subshells Mar 17, 2017 at 20:27

The accepted answer seems perfect. Here's another way to do it:

cd "$(dirname "$0")"

/bin/pwd prints the real path of the directory, as opposed to the pwd builtin command.


if the script is in your path you can use something like

$ myloc=$(dirname "$(which foo.sh)")
$ echo "$myloc"

EDIT: after reading comments from Serg, this might be a generic solution which works whether the script is in your path or not.

myloc==$(dirname "$(realpath $0)")
dirname "$myloc"
  • which is more suitable for when script resides in one of the directories that are part of PATH variable. Use $0 from within a script, just like Zanna shows. But your answer is proper since you use dirname instead of messing with sed, hence +1 for that Mar 17, 2017 at 9:38
wdir="$PWD"; [ "$PWD" = "/" ] && wdir=""
case "$0" in
  /*) scriptdir="${0}";;
  *) scriptdir="$wdir/${0#./}";;
echo "$scriptdir"

It is taken as reference from kenorb and andro
No dirname, readlink, realpath, BASH_SOURCE
All are builtins

  • It's the best solution I found. Simple, easy, clear, working.
    – ozw1z5rd
    Jul 14, 2021 at 7:49
  • Beautiful solution
    – nilinswap
    Jan 9, 2022 at 13:22

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