C/C++ library for retrieving information on files and directories
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README.md

Dirent

Dirent is a C/C++ programming interface that allows programmers to retrieve information about files and directories under Linux/UNIX. This project provides Linux compatible Dirent interface for Microsoft Windows.

Installation

Download the latest Dirent installation package from GitHub and unpack the installation file with 7-zip, for example. The installation package contains dirent.h file as well as a few example programs and tests.

Install Dirent for All Programs

To make dirent.h available for all C/C++ programs, simply copy the include/dirent.h file to the system include directory. System include directory contains header files such as assert.h and windows.h. In Visual Studio 2008, for example, the system include may be found at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\include.

Everything you need is included in the single dirent.h file, and you can start using Dirent immediately -- there is no need to add files to your Visual Studio project.

Embed Dirent into Your Own Project

If you wish to distribute dirent.h alongside with your own source code, then copy include/dirent.h file to a new sub-directory within your project and add that directory to include path on Windows while omitting the directory under Linux/UNIX. This allows your project to be compiled against native dirent.h on Linux/UNIX while substituting the functionality on Microsoft Windows.

Examples

The installation package contains four example programs:

Program Purpose
ls List files in a directory, e.g. ls "c:\Program Files"
find Find files in subdirectories, e.g. find "c:\Program Files\CMake"
updatedb Build database of files in a drive, e.g. updatedb c:\
locate Locate a file from database, e.g. locate notepad.exe

To build the example programs, first install CMake. Then, with CMake installed, open command prompt and create a temporary directory c:\temp\dirent for the build files as

c:\
mkdir temp
mkdir temp\dirent
cd temp\dirent

Generate build files as

cmake d:\dirent

where d:\dirent is the root directory of the Dirent package (containing this README.md and LICENSE file).

Once CMake is finished, open Visual Studio, load the generated dirent.sln file from the build directory and build the solution. Once the build completes, run the example programs from the command prompt as

cd Debug
ls .
find .
updatedb c:\
locate cmd.exe

Copying

Dirent may be freely distributed under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for details.

Alternatives to Dirent

I ported Dirent to Microsoft Windows in 1998 when only a few alternatives were available. However, the situation has changed since then and nowadays both Cygwin and MingW allow you to compile a great number of UNIX programs in Microsoft Windows. They both provide a full dirent API as well as many other UNIX APIs. MingW can even be used for commercial applications!