glob — Unix style pathname pattern expansion

Source code: Lib/

The glob module finds all the pathnames matching a specified pattern according to the rules used by the Unix shell, although results are returned in arbitrary order. No tilde expansion is done, but *, ?, and character ranges expressed with [] will be correctly matched. This is done by using the os.scandir() and fnmatch.fnmatch() functions in concert, and not by actually invoking a subshell. Note that unlike fnmatch.fnmatch(), glob treats filenames beginning with a dot (.) as special cases. (For tilde and shell variable expansion, use os.path.expanduser() and os.path.expandvars().)

For a literal match, wrap the meta-characters in brackets. For example, '[?]' matches the character '?'.

See also

The pathlib module offers high-level path objects.

glob.glob(pathname, *, recursive=False)

Return a possibly-empty list of path names that match pathname, which must be a string containing a path specification. pathname can be either absolute (like /usr/src/Python-1.5/Makefile) or relative (like ../../Tools/*/*.gif), and can contain shell-style wildcards. Broken symlinks are included in the results (as in the shell). Whether or not the results are sorted depends on the file system. If a file that satisfies conditions is removed or added during the call of this function, whether a path name for that file be included is unspecified.

If recursive is true, the pattern “**” will match any files and zero or more directories, subdirectories and symbolic links to directories. If the pattern is followed by an os.sep or os.altsep then files will not match.

Raises an auditing event glob.glob with arguments pathname, recursive.


Using the “**” pattern in large directory trees may consume an inordinate amount of time.

Changed in version 3.5: Support for recursive globs using “**”.

glob.iglob(pathname, *, recursive=False)

Return an iterator which yields the same values as glob() without actually storing them all simultaneously.

Raises an auditing event glob.glob with arguments pathname, recursive.


Escape all special characters ('?', '*' and '['). This is useful if you want to match an arbitrary literal string that may have special characters in it. Special characters in drive/UNC sharepoints are not escaped, e.g. on Windows escape('//?/c:/Quo vadis?.txt') returns '//?/c:/Quo vadis[?].txt'.

New in version 3.4.

For example, consider a directory containing the following files: 1.gif, 2.txt, card.gif and a subdirectory sub which contains only the file 3.txt. glob() will produce the following results. Notice how any leading components of the path are preserved.

>>> import glob
>>> glob.glob('./[0-9].*')
['./1.gif', './2.txt']
>>> glob.glob('*.gif')
['1.gif', 'card.gif']
>>> glob.glob('?.gif')
>>> glob.glob('**/*.txt', recursive=True)
['2.txt', 'sub/3.txt']
>>> glob.glob('./**/', recursive=True)
['./', './sub/']

If the directory contains files starting with . they won’t be matched by default. For example, consider a directory containing card.gif and .card.gif:

>>> import glob
>>> glob.glob('*.gif')
>>> glob.glob('.c*')

See also

Module fnmatch

Shell-style filename (not path) expansion


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