(PHP 4, PHP 5, PHP 7)

realpathReturns canonicalized absolute pathname


realpath ( string $path ) : string

realpath() expands all symbolic links and resolves references to /./, /../ and extra / characters in the input path and returns the canonicalized absolute pathname.



The path being checked.


Whilst a path must be supplied, the value can be an empty string. In this case, the value is interpreted as the current directory.

Return Values

Returns the canonicalized absolute pathname on success. The resulting path will have no symbolic link, /./ or /../ components. Trailing delimiters, such as \ and /, are also removed.

realpath() returns false on failure, e.g. if the file does not exist.


The running script must have executable permissions on all directories in the hierarchy, otherwise realpath() will return false.


For case-insensitive filesystems realpath() may or may not normalize the character case.


The function realpath() will not work for a file which is inside a Phar as such path would be a virtual path, not a real one.


On Windows, junctions and symbolic links to directories are only expanded by one level.

Note: Because PHP's integer type is signed and many platforms use 32bit integers, some filesystem functions may return unexpected results for files which are larger than 2GB.


Example #1 realpath() example

echo realpath('./../../etc/passwd') . PHP_EOL;

echo realpath('/tmp/') . PHP_EOL;

The above example will output:


Example #2 realpath() on Windows

On windows realpath() will change unix style paths to windows style.

echo realpath('/windows/system32'), PHP_EOL;

echo realpath('C:\Program Files\\'), PHP_EOL;

The above example will output:

C:\Program Files

See Also

  • basename() - Returns trailing name component of path
  • dirname() - Returns a parent directory's path
  • pathinfo() - Returns information about a file path

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