fs v1.5.0


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Cross-Platform File System Operations Based on 'libuv'

A cross-platform interface to file system operations, built on top of the 'libuv' C library.



lifecycle R build
status Coverage

fs provides a cross-platform, uniform interface to file system operations. It shares the same back-end component as nodejs, the libuv C library, which brings the benefit of extensive real-world use and rigorous cross-platform testing. The name, and some of the interface, is partially inspired by Rust’s fs module.


You can install the released version of fs from CRAN with:


And the development version from GitHub with:

# install.packages("devtools")

Comparison vs base equivalents

fs functions smooth over some of the idiosyncrasies of file handling with base R functions:

  • Vectorization. All fs functions are vectorized, accepting multiple paths as input. Base functions are inconsistently vectorized.

  • Predictable return values that always convey a path. All fs functions return a character vector of paths, a named integer or a logical vector, where the names give the paths. Base return values are more varied: they are often logical or contain error codes which require downstream processing.

  • Explicit failure. If fs operations fail, they throw an error. Base functions tend to generate a warning and a system dependent error code. This makes it easy to miss a failure.

  • UTF-8 all the things. fs functions always convert input paths to UTF-8 and return results as UTF-8. This gives you path encoding consistency across OSes. Base functions rely on the native system encoding.

  • Naming convention. fs functions use a consistent naming convention. Because base R’s functions were gradually added over time there are a number of different conventions used (e.g. path.expand() vs normalizePath(); Sys.chmod() vs file.access()).

Tidy paths

fs functions always return ‘tidy’ paths. Tidy paths

  • Always use / to delimit directories
  • never have multiple / or trailing /

Tidy paths are also coloured (if your terminal supports it) based on the file permissions and file type. This colouring can be customized or extended by setting the LS_COLORS environment variable, in the same output format as GNU dircolors.


fs functions are divided into four main categories:

  • path_ for manipulating and constructing paths
  • file_ for files
  • dir_ for directories
  • link_ for links

Directories and links are special types of files, so file_ functions will generally also work when applied to a directory or link.


# Construct a path to a file with `path()`
path("foo", "bar", letters[1:3], ext = "txt")
#> foo/bar/a.txt foo/bar/b.txt foo/bar/c.txt

# list files in the current directory
#> DESCRIPTION      LICENSE.md       Makefile         NAMESPACE        
#> NEWS.md          R                README.Rmd       README.md        
#> _pkgdown.yml     codecov.yml      cran-comments.md fs.Rproj         
#> inst             man              man-roxygen      revdep           
#> script.R         src              tests            vignettes

# create a new directory
tmp <- dir_create(file_temp())
#> /var/folders/9x/_8jnmxwj3rq1t90mlr6_0k1w0000gn/T/RtmppbMbhP/fileaa117df4099f

# create new files in that directory
file_create(path(tmp, "my-file.txt"))
#> /var/folders/9x/_8jnmxwj3rq1t90mlr6_0k1w0000gn/T/RtmppbMbhP/fileaa117df4099f/my-file.txt

# remove files from the directory
file_delete(path(tmp, "my-file.txt"))
#> character(0)

# remove the directory

fs is designed to work well with the pipe, though because it is a minimal-dependency infrastructure package it doesn’t provide the pipe itself. You will need to attach magrittr or similar.


paths <- file_temp() %>%
  dir_create() %>%
  path(letters[1:5]) %>%
#> /var/folders/9x/_8jnmxwj3rq1t90mlr6_0k1w0000gn/T/RtmppbMbhP/fileaa11686663e2/a
#> /var/folders/9x/_8jnmxwj3rq1t90mlr6_0k1w0000gn/T/RtmppbMbhP/fileaa11686663e2/b
#> /var/folders/9x/_8jnmxwj3rq1t90mlr6_0k1w0000gn/T/RtmppbMbhP/fileaa11686663e2/c
#> /var/folders/9x/_8jnmxwj3rq1t90mlr6_0k1w0000gn/T/RtmppbMbhP/fileaa11686663e2/d
#> /var/folders/9x/_8jnmxwj3rq1t90mlr6_0k1w0000gn/T/RtmppbMbhP/fileaa11686663e2/e

paths %>% file_delete()

fs functions also work well in conjunction with other tidyverse packages, like dplyr and purrr.

Some examples…


Filter files by type, permission and size

dir_info("src", recurse = FALSE) %>%
  filter(type == "file", permissions == "u+r", size > "10KB") %>%
  arrange(desc(size)) %>%
  select(path, permissions, size, modification_time)
#> # A tibble: 12 x 4
#>    path                     permissions        size modification_time  
#>    <fs::path>               <fs::perms> <fs::bytes> <dttm>             
#>  1 src/libuv-v1.38.1.tar.gz rw-r--r--         1.19M 2020-07-30 15:34:04
#>  2 src/fs.so                rwxr-xr-x       256.12K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#>  3 src/id.o                 rw-r--r--       173.61K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#>  4 src/dir.o                rw-r--r--       107.33K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#>  5 src/path.o               rw-r--r--        99.26K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#>  6 src/utils.o              rw-r--r--        75.12K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#>  7 src/getmode.o            rw-r--r--        71.07K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#>  8 src/link.o               rw-r--r--        69.95K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#>  9 src/file.o               rw-r--r--        48.67K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#> 10 src/error.o              rw-r--r--        18.41K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#> 11 src/init.o               rw-r--r--        16.86K 2020-07-31 13:49:54
#> 12 src/file.cc              rw-r--r--        11.01K 2020-04-01 12:30:55

Tabulate and display folder size.

dir_info("src", recurse = TRUE) %>%
  group_by(directory = path_dir(path)) %>%
  tally(wt = size, sort = TRUE)
#> # A tibble: 97 x 2
#>    directory                                  n
#>    <chr>                            <fs::bytes>
#>  1 src/libuv-v1.38.1                      4.28M
#>  2 src/libuv-1.38.1                       2.67M
#>  3 src                                    2.15M
#>  4 src/libuv-v1.38.1/autom4te.cache       1.15M
#>  5 src/libuv-v1.38.1/test                 1.08M
#>  6 src/libuv-1.38.1/src/win             731.12K
#>  7 src/libuv-v1.38.1/src/win            731.12K
#>  8 src/libuv-1.38.1/src/unix            591.54K
#>  9 src/libuv-v1.38.1/src/unix           586.58K
#> 10 src/libuv-v1.38.1/m4                 354.63K
#> # … with 87 more rows

Read a collection of files into one data frame.

dir_ls() returns a named vector, so it can be used directly with purrr::map_df(.id).

# Create separate files for each species
iris %>%
  split(.$Species) %>%
  map(select, -Species) %>%
  iwalk(~ write_tsv(.x, paste0(.y, ".tsv")))

# Show the files
iris_files <- dir_ls(glob = "*.tsv")
#> setosa.tsv     versicolor.tsv virginica.tsv

# Read the data into a single table, including the filenames
iris_files %>%
  map_df(read_tsv, .id = "file", col_types = cols(), n_max = 2)
#> # A tibble: 6 x 5
#>   file           Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width
#>   <chr>                 <dbl>       <dbl>        <dbl>       <dbl>
#> 1 setosa.tsv              5.1         3.5          1.4         0.2
#> 2 setosa.tsv              4.9         3            1.4         0.2
#> 3 versicolor.tsv          7           3.2          4.7         1.4
#> 4 versicolor.tsv          6.4         3.2          4.5         1.5
#> 5 virginica.tsv           6.3         3.3          6           2.5
#> 6 virginica.tsv           5.8         2.7          5.1         1.9


Feedback wanted!

We hope fs is a useful tool for both analysis scripts and packages. Please open GitHub issues for any feature requests or bugs.

In particular, we have found non-ASCII filenames in non-English locales on Windows to be especially tricky to reproduce and handle correctly. Feedback from users who use commonly have this situation is greatly appreciated.

Functions in fs

Name Description
create Create files, directories, or links
is_file Functions to test for file types
file_move Move or rename files
id Lookup Users and Groups on a system
link_path Read the value of a symbolic link
fs_perms Create, modify and view file permissions
file_touch Change file access and modification times
path_file Manipulate file paths
fs-package fs: Cross-Platform File System Operations Based on 'libuv'
path_expand Finding the User Home Directory
delete Delete files, directories, or links
path_tidy Tidy paths
fs_path File paths
file_chown Change owner or group of a file
fs_bytes Human readable file sizes
file_chmod Change file permissions
path_package Construct a path to a location within an installed or development package
path Construct path to a file or directory
dir_ls List files
path_sanitize Sanitize a filename by removing directory paths and invalid characters
file_show Open files or directories
path_filter Filter paths
file_temp Create names for temporary files
path_math Path computations
file_access Query for existence and access permissions
copy Copy files, directories or links
dir_tree Print contents of directories in a tree-like format
file_info Query file metadata
is_absolute_path Test if a path is an absolute path
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Vignettes of fs

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Last month downloads


License GPL-3
Encoding UTF-8
LazyData true
ByteCompile true
SystemRequirements GNU make
RoxygenNote 7.1.1
URL http://fs.r-lib.org, https://github.com/r-lib/fs
BugReports https://github.com/r-lib/fs/issues
Copyright file COPYRIGHTS
VignetteBuilder knitr
Language en-US
NeedsCompilation yes
Packaged 2020-07-31 21:00:55 UTC; jhester
Repository CRAN
Date/Publication 2020-07-31 21:30:03 UTC

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