Nodejs, How to Convert Relative to Absolute path| Javascript


In this short tutorial, You will learn how to convert relative path to absolute path in Nodejs Application with example.

absolute path and relative path in Nodejs

Absolute path is path of the resource starts from application root, always starts with /. Relative path is path of of the resource relative path of an resource, it will not starts with /.

For example, Let’s have a NodeJS application has directory or folder structure as follows

empapp
  -src
   --models
    ---employee.js
   --controller
    ---EmpController.js
  -input
   --test.doc
index.html
package.json

if you are using test.doc file in EmpController.js, how do you refer this test.doc. Then Absolute path is /input/test.doc.

/ treats as root or application

and relative path is ../input/test.doc .. refers to parent folder

Convert relative path to absolute path in Nodejs

Nodejs provides path module, working with file paths.

relative paths are converted to absolute paths using below two approaches

path.resolve Given input path of test.doc is ../input/test.doc, We will see how to convert this to absolute path.

const path = require("path"); 
path.resolve('../input/test.doc'); // give /input/test.pdf

The output is absolute path i.e /input/test.pdf

an example using dirname and filename dirname returns root director where current file exists. Filename gives name of the file

var path = require('path');
console.log('one - ', __dirname);// prints absolute path of an application
var here = path.basename(__dirname__) + '/input/test.pdf' ;

Check given path is absolute or relative

relative path should not starts /. path.isAbsolute() method checks and return true - for absolute paths,else return false.

Please note that this method only checks path in the file system paths not related to url path, not reliable when you are using ~ in Unix and Linux and return false data.

var path = require("path");
console.log(__dirname); //b:/nodejsapp
console.log(path.isAbsolute(__dirname)); //true
console.log(path.isAbsolute("../")); //false

And Another reliable way is to use resolve and normalize and compare values

path.resolve(__dirname) === path.normalize(__dirname) 
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