Get absolute path from a shell path

While coding shell script, normally get the current directory of the script file like:

sh_dir=`cd -P — “$(dirname “$0″)” && pwd -P`

But, if running by source like source, we may got the unexpected result.

Here is a safer and more readable way to do this job:

# get current script directory
DIR=$( cd "$( dirname "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}" )" && pwd )

# get current executing script full path
sh_path=$( unset CDPATH && cd "$(dirname "$0")" && echo $PWD/$(basename "$0") )


  • If $0 is a bare filename with no preceding path, the original script will fail but the one given here will work. (Not a problem with $0 but could be in other applications.)
  • Either approach will fail if the path to the file doesn’t actually exist. (Not a problem with $0, but could be in other applications.)
  • The unset is essential if your user may have CDPATH set.
  • Unlike readlink -f or realpath, this will work on non-Linux versions of Unix (e.g., Mac OS X).
DIR=$(cd `dirname "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}"` && pwd)/

Using ${BASH_SOURCE[0]} instead of $0 produces the same behaviour
regardless of whether the script is invoked as or source

For more details about difference in linux between ‘source’ and ‘sh’