(PHP 4, PHP 5)

realpathReturns canonicalized absolute pathname


string realpath ( string $path )

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 blank or NULL In these cases, 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.

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.

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.


Version Description
5.3.0 Prior to this release, if only the last path component did not exist, realpath() would not fail on *BSD systems. realpath() now fails in this case.
5.2.1 Prior to this version, realpath() returned FALSE if path is an empty string or NULL.


Example #1 realpath() example


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');

The above example will output:


See Also

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