list() contents of a Directory - sample program in Java

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A directory is a File that contains a list of other files and directories. When you create a File object and it is a directory, the isDirectory( ) method will return true. In this case, you can call list( ) on that object to extract the list of other files and directories inside. It has two forms. The first is shown here:

String[ ] list( )

The list of files is returned in an array of String objects. The program shown here illustrates how to use list() to examine the contents of a directory:

// Using directories.
class DirList {
public static void main(String args[]) {
String dirname = "/java";
File f1 = new File(dirname);
if (f1.isDirectory()) {
System.out.println("Directory of " + dirname);
String s[] = f1.list();
for (int i=0; i < s.length; i++) {
File f = new File(dirname + "/" + s[i]);
if (f.isDirectory()) {
System.out.println(s[i] + " is a directory");
} else {
System.out.println(s[i] + " is a file");
} else {
System.out.println(dirname + " is not a directory");

Here is sample output from the program. (Of course, the output you see will be different, based on what is in your directory.)

Directory of /java
bin is a directory
lib is a directory
demo is a directory
COPYRIGHT is a file
README is a file
index.html is a file
include is a directory is a file
.hotjava is a directory
src is a directory

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