Cross-platform library for normalizing and joining file system paths

v1.2.0 2017-07-09 14:41 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-05-19 19:13:40 UTC


PathJoin is PHP library for normalizing and joining file system paths. The purpose of this library is to make easier to work with file system paths irregardless of the platform and the system directory separator.

The purpose of file path normalization is to provide a single consistent file path representation. In other words, the normalization in this library will resolve . and .. directory references and also condense multiple directory separators into one. This makes it much easier to avoid common problems when comparing paths against each other.

While PHP provides a built in function realpath(), it is not usable in every case since it works by using the file system. This library simply combines and normalizes the paths using string handling. There is no requirement for the files or directories to be readable or even exist.

The API documentation is available at: http://kit.riimu.net/api/pathjoin/

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  • The minimum supported PHP version is 5.6


Installation with Composer

The easiest way to install this library is to use Composer to handle your dependencies. In order to install this library via Composer, simply follow these two steps:

  1. Acquire the composer.phar by running the Composer Command-line installation in your project root.

  2. Once you have run the installation script, you should have the composer.phar file in you project root and you can run the following command:

    php composer.phar require "riimu/kit-pathjoin:^1.2"

After installing this library via Composer, you can load the library by including the vendor/autoload.php file that was generated by Composer during the installation.

Adding the library as a dependency

If you are already familiar with how to use Composer, you may alternatively add the library as a dependency by adding the following composer.json file to your project and running the composer install command:

    "require": {
        "riimu/kit-pathjoin": "^1.2"

Manual installation

If you do not wish to use Composer to load the library, you may also download the library manually by downloading the latest release and extracting the src folder to your project. You may then include the provided src/autoload.php file to load the library classes.


This library provides two convenient methods, Path::normalize() and Path::join(). Both of these methods work in a very similar fashion. The main difference is that while the join() method can accept multiple paths to join, the normalize() will only accept a single path. Both of the methods will return a normalized path as the result.

The following example will contain numerous different use cases of the library:


require 'vendor/autoload.php';
use Riimu\Kit\PathJoin\Path;

// Both of the following will output 'foo/bar' on Unix and 'foo\bar' on Windows
echo Path::normalize('foo/bar') . PHP_EOL;
echo Path::join('foo', 'bar') . PHP_EOL;

// The join method accepts multiple arguments or a single array
echo Path::join('foo', 'bar', 'baz') . PHP_EOL;   // outputs 'foo/bar/baz'
echo Path::join(['foo', 'bar', 'baz']) . PHP_EOL; // outputs 'foo/bar/baz'

// The '.' and '..' directory references will be resolved in the paths
echo Path::normalize('foo/./bar/../baz') . PHP_EOL;     // outputs 'foo/baz'
echo Path::join(['foo/./', 'bar', '../baz']) . PHP_EOL; // outputs 'foo/baz'

// Only the first path can denote an absolute path in the join method
echo Path::join('/foo', '/bar/baz') . PHP_EOL;     // outputs '/foo/bar/baz'
echo Path::join('foo', '/bar') . PHP_EOL;          // outputs 'foo/bar'
echo Path::join('foo', '../bar', 'baz') . PHP_EOL; // outputs 'bar/baz'
echo Path::join('', '/bar', 'baz') . PHP_EOL;      // outputs 'bar/baz'

// Relative paths can start with a '..', but absolute paths cannot
echo Path::join('/foo', '../../bar', 'baz') . PHP_EOL; // outputs '/bar/baz'
echo Path::join('foo', '../../bar', 'baz') . PHP_EOL;  // outputs '../bar/baz'

// Empty paths will result in a '.'
echo Path::normalize('foo/..') . PHP_EOL;
echo Path::join('foo', 'bar', '../..') . PHP_EOL;

The Path::normalize() also accepts a second parameter $prependDrive that takes a boolean value and defaults to true. On Windows platforms, the drive letter is important part of the absolute path. Thus, when the parameter is set to true, the method will prepend the drive letter of the current working directory to absolute paths if the absolute path does not provide one itself.

The following example is true for Windows systems, if the working directory is located on the C: drive:


require 'vendor/autoload.php';
use Riimu\Kit\PathJoin\Path;

echo Path::normalize('/foo/bar') . PHP_EOL;        // outputs 'C:\foo\Bar'
echo Path::normalize('D:/foo/bar') . PHP_EOL;      // outputs 'D:\foo\Bar'
echo Path::normalize('/foo/bar', false) . PHP_EOL; // outputs '\foo\Bar'


This library is Copyright (c) 2014-2017 Riikka Kalliomäki.

See LICENSE for license and copying information.