I am calling drupal_realpath('public://') inside a module function.

Why am I getting a path like sites/all/modules/current_module/sites/default/files from drupal_realpath('public://')?

  • Question - what PHP version are you using? it is strongly recommended not to use drupal_realpath(), but use alternative for it. I would suggest you the alternative, but it's not clear what are you trying to do.
    – 32i
    Oct 1, 2012 at 10:14

3 Answers 3


drupal_realpath() has been deprecated and shouldn't be used; since you have a stream wrapper URI you should be able to get the correct path like this:

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

Also make sure that your public path is correct in the UI (at admin/config/media/file-system)

  • Thanks for info, anyway I have still the same (wrong) path. Under admin/config/media/file-system I have public path set to: sites/default/files
    – Codium
    Oct 1, 2012 at 10:30
  • Very strange; what sort of path do you get if you try a test like this: $path = file_create_url('public://test.txt');?
    – Clive
    Oct 1, 2012 at 10:36
  • It gives me: http://C:\Users\Me\AppData\Local\Temp/sites/default/files/test.txt
    – Codium
    Oct 1, 2012 at 11:08
  • And is that the right path to your public files folder?
    – Clive
    Oct 1, 2012 at 11:10
  • This is path to temporary directory (C:\Users\Me\AppData\Local\Temp) from admin/config/media/file-system page
    – Codium
    Oct 1, 2012 at 11:20

In addition to Clive's anwser using:

$path = $wrapper->getExternalUrl();

Instead of using:

$path = $wrapper->realpath();

Worked for me, I had the same problem with the wrong path.


Drupal uses PHP's file stream and the path is configured in this location


You can change it to where ever you want

  • It is set to sites/default/files so it look ok
    – Codium
    Oct 1, 2012 at 10:32

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