- deliver portions of path names
/usr/bin/basename string [suffix]
/usr/xpg4/bin/basename string [suffix]
The basename utility deletes any prefix ending in / and the suffix (if present in string) from string, and prints the result on the standard output. It is normally used inside substitution marks (` `) within shell procedures.
The suffix is a pattern defined on the expr(1) manual page.
The suffix is a string with no special significance attached to any of the characters it contains.
The dirname utility delivers all but the last level of the path name in string.
Example 1 Setting environment variables
The following example, invoked with the argument /home/sms/personal/mail sets the environment variable NAME to the file named mail and the environment variable MYMAILPATH to the string /home/sms/personal:
example% NAME=`basename $HOME/personal/mail` example% MYMAILPATH=`dirname $HOME/personal/mail`
Example 2 Compiling a file and moving the output
This shell procedure, invoked with the argument /usr/src/bin/cat.c, compiles the named file and moves the output to cat in the current directory:
example% cc $1 example% mv a.out `basename $1 .c`
See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of basename and dirname: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.
The following exit values are returned:
An error occurred.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes: