Bash get basename of filename or directory name nixCraft

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I need to extract file basename in bash running on Linux. How can I use bash to get basename of filename or directory name for given path?

Introduction: One can extract filename and extension in bash shell using built-in commands or external commands. The ‘$’ character introduces parameter expansion, command substitution, or arithmetic expansion. See “How To Use Bash Parameter Substitution Like A Pro” for more info. This page shows to remove file basename without path and extension in bash using various methods.

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Bash Get Basename of Filename or Directory Name

To extract filename and extension in Bash use any one of the following method:

  1. basename /path/to/file.tar.gz .gz – Strip directory and suffix from filenames
  2. ${VAR%pattern} – Remove file extension
  3. ${VAR#pattern} – Delete from shortest front pattern

Let us see some example in bash to get basename of filename.

Bash get filename and extension

To just get filename from a given path:

basename "$FILE"
f="$(basename -- $FILE)"
echo "$f"

Get filename without using basename command

The syntax is:

echo ${FILE##*/}
## another example ##
echo "${url##*/}"

Bash Get Basename of Filename or Directory Name on Linux and Unix

Get running script name using bash parameter

The $0 will provide full path for currently running script. To extract that name only:

echo "$_self is called" ## or in usage() ##
usage(){ echo "$_self: arg1 arg2"

Bash get a file extension

Try the following examples:

echo "${FILE#*.}" # print tar.gz
echo "${FILE##*.}" # print gz
ext="${FILE#*.}" # store output in a shell variable 
echo "$FILE has $ext" # display it

Extract file basename without path and extension in bash

How to get the basename from the full filename path in bash

Use any one of the following syntax:

basename $file echo ${file##*/}

Let us just get the first part of the $file when you know that .enc is extension:

basename $file .enc
## without using basename ##
echo "$t"

Script example to extract filename and extension in Bash

# Purpose: Compile latest Linux kernel
# Author: Vivek Gite {} 
# License: GPL version 2.0 or above
# ---------------------------------------------------------------- 
set -e
isdl=1 # do not download
current="$(uname -r)"
curl -s > "$_out"
url="$(grep -A 2 '<td id="latest_button">' ${_out} | grep -Eo '(http|https)://[^/"]+.*xz')"
echo "* Current Linux kernel: $current"
echo "* Remote Linux kernel version: $remote"
[ "$current" = "$remote" ] || isdl=0
if [ $isdl = 0 ]
then notify-send "A new kernel version ($remote) has been released." echo "* Downloading new kernel ..." wget -qc "$url" -O "${dldir}/${file}" wget -qc "$gpgurl" -O "${dldir}/${gpgurl##*/}" echo "* Using gpg to verify new tar ball ..." cd "$dldir" xz -fd "$file" gpg --verify "${gpgurl##*/}" if [ $? -eq 0 ] then notify-send "Now compiling kernel ver $remote..." tar xf "${file%.xz}" cd "${file%.tar.xz}" cp -v "/boot/config-$(uname -r)" .config make -j $(nproc) && /usr/bin/notify-send "Password needed to install new kernel..." && sudo make modules_install && sudo make install && sudo reboot fi


You just learned how to get the basename and extension from the full filename when using Bash shell running on a Linux or Unix-like system.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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