How do you iterate through every file/directory recursively in standard C++?


Question

How do you iterate through every file/directory recursively in standard C++?

1
102
3/9/2014 1:46:46 PM

Accepted Answer

In standard C++, technically there is no way to do this since standard C++ has no conception of directories. If you want to expand your net a little bit, you might like to look at using Boost.FileSystem. This has been accepted for inclusion in TR2, so this gives you the best chance of keeping your implementation as close as possible to the standard.

An example, taken straight from the website:

bool find_file( const path & dir_path,         // in this directory,
                const std::string & file_name, // search for this name,
                path & path_found )            // placing path here if found
{
  if ( !exists( dir_path ) ) return false;
  directory_iterator end_itr; // default construction yields past-the-end
  for ( directory_iterator itr( dir_path );
        itr != end_itr;
        ++itr )
  {
    if ( is_directory(itr->status()) )
    {
      if ( find_file( itr->path(), file_name, path_found ) ) return true;
    }
    else if ( itr->leaf() == file_name ) // see below
    {
      path_found = itr->path();
      return true;
    }
  }
  return false;
}
94
9/15/2008 11:36:46 PM

If using the Win32 API you can use the FindFirstFile and FindNextFile functions.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365200(VS.85).aspx

For recursive traversal of directories you must inspect each WIN32_FIND_DATA.dwFileAttributes to check if the FILE_ATTRIBUTE_DIRECTORY bit is set. If the bit is set then you can recursively call the function with that directory. Alternatively you can use a stack for providing the same effect of a recursive call but avoiding stack overflow for very long path trees.

#include <windows.h>
#include <string>
#include <vector>
#include <stack>
#include <iostream>

using namespace std;

bool ListFiles(wstring path, wstring mask, vector<wstring>& files) {
    HANDLE hFind = INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE;
    WIN32_FIND_DATA ffd;
    wstring spec;
    stack<wstring> directories;

    directories.push(path);
    files.clear();

    while (!directories.empty()) {
        path = directories.top();
        spec = path + L"\\" + mask;
        directories.pop();

        hFind = FindFirstFile(spec.c_str(), &ffd);
        if (hFind == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE)  {
            return false;
        } 

        do {
            if (wcscmp(ffd.cFileName, L".") != 0 && 
                wcscmp(ffd.cFileName, L"..") != 0) {
                if (ffd.dwFileAttributes & FILE_ATTRIBUTE_DIRECTORY) {
                    directories.push(path + L"\\" + ffd.cFileName);
                }
                else {
                    files.push_back(path + L"\\" + ffd.cFileName);
                }
            }
        } while (FindNextFile(hFind, &ffd) != 0);

        if (GetLastError() != ERROR_NO_MORE_FILES) {
            FindClose(hFind);
            return false;
        }

        FindClose(hFind);
        hFind = INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE;
    }

    return true;
}

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
    vector<wstring> files;

    if (ListFiles(L"F:\\cvsrepos", L"*", files)) {
        for (vector<wstring>::iterator it = files.begin(); 
             it != files.end(); 
             ++it) {
            wcout << it->c_str() << endl;
        }
    }
    return 0;
}

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