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I need to get the path for public:// at runtime. Is there a fx call to resolve it?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 22 down vote accepted

You can use the following code, to obtain the real path of public://.

if ($wrapper = file_stream_wrapper_get_instance_by_uri('public://')) {
  $realpath = $wrapper->realpath();
  // ...

This code is the simplified version of the code used by file_create_url(), with the following differences:

  • It doesn't allow third-party modules to alter the URL, since the OP is asking for the path associated with public://
  • It doesn't check the URI contains ://, since this is clearly true
  • It doesn't check the URI is a root-relative URI, since this is clearly false for public://
  • It doesn't check the URI is protocol relative, since this is clearly false in the OP's case
  • It doesn't check the URI is not a properly formatted stream, since public:// is a properly formatted stream
  • It doesn't check if the scheme is http or https, since in this case is public
  • It doesn't call $wrapper->getExternalUrl() since the OP is asking for the path, not for the URL

If the OP wanted the URL for public://, I would have used the following code, which is still a simplified version of the code used by the Drupal function, which needs to be more generic.

if ($wrapper = file_stream_wrapper_get_instance_by_uri('public://')) {
  $url = $wrapper->getExternalUrl();
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@junedkazi's is a better answer. –  AlessMascherpa Apr 29 '14 at 9:08
Read the code used by file_create_url(); you will see the executed code, in this case, is exactly the one I wrote in my answer. –  kiamlaluno Apr 29 '14 at 9:13
Thanks @kiamlaluno. That proves my point. –  AlessMascherpa Apr 29 '14 at 11:26
this will get you the full server path, not the url. –  DrCord Jul 29 '14 at 21:04
no it does not, it gives you a server path like /var/www/webroot/etc/more_folders/ –  DrCord Jul 30 '14 at 13:54

You can use the file_create_url function.

$uri = 'public://';
$path= file_create_url($uri)
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This gets you the url, but including the server. I used a simple regex and the global $base_url to remove it and make this server agnostic. global $base_url; $path = file_create_url($file_object->uri); $path = preg_replace('#' . $base_url . '#', '', $path); Make sure to use the '#' in the regex, otherwise the replace will fail due to an un-escaped '/' in the $base_url. –  DrCord Jul 29 '14 at 21:05
The OP asked for the path, not the URL. –  kiamlaluno Jul 17 at 20:30

In case if you are using only local files (not remote!) you can also try drupal_realpath()

$path = 'public://custom_map';

It will return:

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This returns a path and not a URL, which is what the question asks for. In my opinion this is better than the accepted answer. –  Scott Joudry May 11 '14 at 19:28!… . drupal_realpath() is deprecated as seen in the comments. –  Wordzilla Nov 25 '14 at 6:11
@Wordzilla, well it's not. If you will check latest Drupal source you will find it's usage in big amount of places, it's not deprecated but it's usage must be restricted. Documentation in says that it is "discouraged", but not deprecated. –  Andrey Rudenko Nov 28 '14 at 13:47
@ScottJoudry The OP asks for the path for public://, not the URL. –  kiamlaluno Mar 24 at 9:31

See the following examples:

$scheme = file_uri_scheme($file);

if ($scheme && file_stream_wrapper_valid_scheme($scheme)) {
  $wrapper = file_stream_wrapper_get_instance_by_scheme($scheme);
  $path = $wrapper->getLocalPath($file);


$wrapper = file_stream_wrapper_get_instance_by_uri($uri);
$path = $wrapper->getDirectoryPath() . "/" . file_uri_target($uri);
print $path;

Check API for DrupalPublicStreamWrapper.

Using file_create_url() doesn't work in all cases (as the other answers suggest), because the returned URL doesn't have to be on the same server. And using $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] works only for certain server configurations.

If you don't want to use stream wrappers, you may try simpler solution:

$path = variable_get('file_public_path', conf_path() . '/files') . '/' . file_uri_target($uri);

Otherwise if you need something that works more generally, check @hannanxp's solution:

$wrapper = file_stream_wrapper_get_instance_by_uri($uri);
if ($wrapper instanceof DrupalLocalStreamWrapper) {
  $path = $wrapper->getDirectoryPath() . '/' . file_uri_target($uri);
else {
  // This does not appear to be a local file so there's no such thing as
  // a relative path; do appropriate error handling here.

Read more: How can I convert a file uri to relative path?


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