There may be times when you want to import modules from a parent directory in Python. This can be useful, for example, when working with Jupyter notebooks and you want to keep your code organized in a specific directory structure. In this article, we will explore different ways to add a parent directory to the Python path so that you can import modules from it.
- Method 1: Using
- Method 2: Using
- Method 3: Using
- Method 4: Using
Method 1: Using
One way to add a parent directory to the Python path is to use the
sys.path.insert() method. This method allows you to insert a new path at a specific index in the
sys.path list. To add a parent directory to the Python path, you can use the following code:
import sys sys.path.insert(0, '..')
This code imports the
sys module and then uses the
insert() method to add the parent directory (indicated by
'..') to the beginning of the
sys.path list. This means that the parent directory will be searched before any other paths in the list when importing modules.
Method 2: Using
Another way to add a parent directory to the python path is to use the
sys.path.append() method, which will add the given path to the end of the sys.path list.
import sys sys.path.append('..')
This method would work in the same way as above method but the order of search of the path will be different.
Method 3: Using
PYTHONPATH environment variable
You can also add a parent directory to the Python path by setting the
PYTHONPATH environment variable.
This way the parent directory will be added to the python path for the current terminal session. To make the change permanent, you can add the above line to your shell startup file, such as
Method 4: Using
Another way to add parent directory to the python path is to create a
.pth file in python's site-packages directory.
echo '..' > /usr/local/lib/python3.8/site-packages/my_project.pth`
This will add the parent directory as a permanent path to python's sys.path list.
It's important to note that the above solutions will work for Python 2 and Python 3
There is a way to add a parent directory to the Python path using the
pathlib module with method 1 or method 2 explained above.
pathlib is a built-in Python module that provides an object-oriented interface for working with file paths.
One way to add a parent directory to the Python path using
pathlib is to use the
parent attribute of a
Path object. This attribute returns a new
Path object representing the parent directory of the original
Path object. For example, you can use the following code to add a parent directory to the Python path:
from pathlib import Path import sys sys.path.append(str(Path(__file__).resolve().parent.parent))
This code imports the
Path class from the
pathlib module, and then uses the
__file__ special variable to get the current file's path. It uses the
resolve() method to get the absolute path of the current file and then uses the
parent attribute to get the parent directory of the current file and again parent directory of the parent directory of current file. This new
Path object is then passed to the
append() method of the
sys.path list to add the parent directory to the Python path.
Another way to use pathlib is to use
pathlib.Path().joinpath() to add the parent directory to the python path.
from pathlib import Path import sys path = Path().joinpath().joinpath('..') sys.path.append(str(path))
This way you can join multiple directories using the joinpath method.
In this article, we have covered different ways to add a parent directory to the Python path, which can be useful when working with Jupyter notebooks or other projects that require a specific directory structure.
CAUTION: Keep in mind that adding the parent directory to the python path will make the modules inside it available for import, but it also makes the entire directory structure available for import, so it's important to have a clear and organized directory structure.