What is the Use of Glob in Python?

glob is a generic term for procedures that match a specified pattern according to Unix shell rules. glob is supported by Linux and Unix systems and shells, and the function glob() is available in system libraries. In this article, we’ll look at how to use the glob() function in Python.

Aside from the aforementioned, what is a file glob? File globbing is a UNIX/Linux shell feature that allows you to represent many filenames with a single file name by utilizing special characters called wildcards. A wildcard is a symbol that can be used to replace one or even more characters in a string.

What is glob and how does it work?

Globs are simply filepath matching strings made up of wildcard and/or literal characters. Globbing is the process of employing a single or multiple globs to locate files on any drive. The src() method takes a single glob string or an array of globs to determine which directories your process will execute.

Is it true that glob is sorted?

The pattern matches each path name within that folder dir without recursing deeper into subdirectories. Because the data generated by glob() isn’t sorted, the instances provided sort it to make it easier to study the results. To display files in a subdirectory, you must include the subdirectory in the pattern.

In Python, how do I utilize the glob function?

The glob module in Python offers numerous functions that may be used to list files in a specific folder. We can use extensions to filter them, or we can use a certain string as part of the filename to filter them. The Glob module’s methods all use the Unix-style pattern matching process and parameters.

Glob allows you to acquire files on a storage device based on a given sequence. The pattern guidelines for glob are ordinary Unix path expansion rules, not regular expressions.

  • Wildcard characters that match zero or perhaps more characters
  • As a wild card character,? matches a single character.
  • [] selects a single character from a list of options. The symbol ‘-‘ can be used to specify a range, while the character ‘!’ can be used to negate.
    • [0123456789] corresponds to any number.
    • [abc] is a lowercase letter that matches the letters a, b, or c.
    • [0-9] can be used to represent any number.
    • [a-zA-Z] matches any upper or lowercase letter.
    • [!abc] matches all letters except a, b, and c.

Glob works with both relative and absolute paths. It can only scan local entities but not subdirectories because it is not recursive. You can recursively search with os.walk.

The code below matches any file with the ‘txt’ extension.


Glob in Python

Any file that ends in og.txt and also has its first character that can be anything will match the following.


using Glob in Python

The code below will match any file that ends in og.txt and also has one lowercase letter as the first character.


Glob in Python code

Any file that ends in og.txt and also has its first character other than lowercase a, b, c, d, or e will match the following.


Glob Python

Using Glob, see if a file exists

In Python, the glob module makes it easy to access the storage device. Pattern matching is the main benefit of utilizing the glob module. This technique can also be used to check whenever a file exists without using exceptions.

Use the glob() method from the glob module to see if the file exists.

It collects information about the file path.


  • Absolute path: If you wish to see if a file exists in another directory, use this command, OR
  • FileName: If you’re looking for a file in the current working directory.

It returns True if the file is present and readable and False if the file doesn’t exist or can’t be read.

Note that if the glob.glob function is used outside of IF, it will return files that match the criteria.


glob.glob function

This is how you may check if a file exists with the Glob module.

Check for the presence of a hidden file

The glob.glob or os.path modules can be used to see if the hidden file exists. 

The configuration files that are required for an application to execute, for example, are generally hidden in just about any OS. You might want to check if it exists while writing a python script that makes changes to the configuration files.

It’s similar to looking through regular files. In the windows property, only the files are hidden.

Code Using Glob:

Check for the presence of a hidden file

To test in Windows, we first hide the file and then run the above script. As a result, the same glob function is used to determine whether or not the hidden file exists.

How to Use Python’s Glob to List Files within that Directory

glob is mostly a pattern matching library for filenames, but it may also be used to list objects in the current working directory by:

Use Python's Glob to list files

All items within the active directory are matched with the wildcard character ‘*’. We must disable the glob() function’s recursive nature in order to display the contents of the current directory.

How to Use Python’s Glob to List All Files within a Directory Iteratively

glob can repeatedly visit each folder and extract and provide all items, similar with the above approach.

Use Python's Glob to List All Files within a Directory Iteratively

The glob() function uses the ‘**’ symbol in conjunction with the path variable to match files in any subdirectory. The ‘*’ instructs the code to match all entries in the directory.

Because we want to extract just the files in the entire directory, we use the isfile() function to filter out the files.

How to Use Python’s Glob to View Files in a Folder by Matching Patterns

As previously stated, the fundamental purpose of glob is to match filename patterns.

Use Python's Glob to View Files in a Folder by Matching Patterns

The pattern that matches the regular expression ‘**/*[0-9]*.*’ is as follows:

  • ‘**’: Go through all of the path’s subdirectories.
  • ‘/*’: Any character can be used as the beginning of the filename.
  • ‘[0-9]’: The filename contains a number.
  • ‘*.*’: The filename can have any extension and can terminate with any character.

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