10.8. fnmatch — Unix filename pattern matching

Source code: Lib/fnmatch.py

This module provides support for Unix shell-style wildcards, which are not the same as regular expressions (which are documented in the re module). The special characters used in shell-style wildcards are:

Pattern Meaning
* matches everything
? matches any single character
[seq] matches any character in seq
[!seq] matches any character not in seq

For a literal match, wrap the meta-characters in brackets. For example, '[?]' matches the character '?'.

Note that the filename separator ('/' on Unix) is not special to this module. See module glob for pathname expansion (glob uses fnmatch() to match pathname segments). Similarly, filenames starting with a period are not special for this module, and are matched by the * and ? patterns.

fnmatch.fnmatch(filename, pattern)

Test whether the filename string matches the pattern string, returning True or False. Both parameters are case-normalized using os.path.normcase(). fnmatchcase() can be used to perform a case-sensitive comparison, regardless of whether that’s standard for the operating system.

This example will print all file names in the current directory with the extension .txt:

import fnmatch
import os

for file in os.listdir('.'):
    if fnmatch.fnmatch(file, '*.txt'):
        print file
fnmatch.fnmatchcase(filename, pattern)

Test whether filename matches pattern, returning True or False; the comparison is case-sensitive and does not apply os.path.normcase().

fnmatch.filter(names, pattern)

Return the subset of the list of names that match pattern. It is the same as [n for n in names if fnmatch(n, pattern)], but implemented more efficiently.

New in version 2.2.


Return the shell-style pattern converted to a regular expression for using with re.match().


>>> import fnmatch, re
>>> regex = fnmatch.translate('*.txt')
>>> regex
>>> reobj = re.compile(regex)
>>> reobj.match('foobar.txt')
<_sre.SRE_Match object at 0x...>

See also

Module glob
Unix shell-style path expansion.