How can you quickly get the complete path to a file for use in terminal?

  • How can you quickly get the complete path to a file for use in terminal?

  • Just drag and drop the file in the terminal.

    I'm putting this here so that I don't forget, let's hope it helps some of you :D

    Returns an "smb://" prefixed path for SMB mounted shares instead of the actual mounted path.

    @Kupiakos: for me, gnome-terminal happily translates the dropped file path to `'/home/alexcohn/.gvfs/…'`

  • readlink -f

    or (install it first)


    This answer is more accurate than one accepted.

    For the complete folder: `ls | xargs realpath`.

    The downside of `readlink` is that it will work even if the file doesn't exist. This can perpetuate bugs in very odd ways.

    to copy the path to the os clipboard `realpath | xclip -selection c`

  • All good answers; Here is a tip for another situation.

    If you are browsing your files using nautilus and you want the complete path of your current directory, then press CTRL+L. This changes the breadcrumb buttons temporarily back to the old-style address bar, allowing you to copy the path.

    … but this is still `smb://`-style, so it cannot be reused in terminal.

    Interesting; on my system (Ubuntu 13.10) I do not get a `smb://`-style path.

    Exactly what I was looking for, I mean the terminal is a great place to ls but there is those times you work in a file folder views : ' )

  • If it's an executable, then execute (in a terminal):

    $ which your_executable

    For example: $ which ls

    This is the answer i was looking for

  • In addition to dragging the icon, there are a few ways to get the full path without nautilus (or thunar, konqueror, et al.). You would then triple-click or click-drag and copy, potentially saving this in your clipboard manager*, and paste it where you need.
    (pastie, klipper, glippy, glipper, anamnesis)

    • You can use find in a directory above your file. (If you don't know where it is, start where your shell drops you, [generally] in the top of your home directory.)
      find . | egrep filename

    • You can use locate to get the filename. (Run sudo updatedb if that hasn't been done recently.)

    A more realistic example of using find would be something like :

    $ find | egrep askubuntu | grep txt

    To cut out the ones you don't like, e.g.:

    find | egrep askubuntu | grep txt | egrep -v iteration
    find | egrep askubuntu | grep txt | egrep -v 'iteration|meta|other'

    locate is used much the same way, though grep is frequently more necessary:

    locate myfile | egrep home | egrep -v 'mozilla|cache|local|bin|\.pyc|test' | grep \.py

    This isn't the most efficient way to type this, but usually if I've lost a file, I do this iteratively, adding grep clauses as I go.

  • Easily done in python using os.realpath() function:

    $ python -c 'import os,sys;print(os.path.realpath(sys.argv[1]))' ./VirtualBox\ VMs/                                      
    /mnt/HDD/VirtualBox VMs

    From a related answer,you can also use readlink

    $ readlink -e ./out.txt                                                                                                  
  • If you simply copy a file in Nautilus, then the full path is copied.
    Then paste it in the terminal. By simply pasting you get:


    If you right-click and choose "Paste filenames" then you get:


    with the quotes as shown.
    This differs from Windows, that copies the file content instead of its name.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM