C Interview Questions and Answers


How can I read a directory in a C program?

See if you can use the opendir and readdir functions, which are part of the POSIX
standard and are available on most Unix variants. Implementations also exist for
MS-DOS, VMS, and other systems. (MS-DOS also has FINDFIRST and FINDNEXT routines
which do essentially the same thing, and MS Windows has FindFirstFile and FindNextFile.)
readdir returns just the file names; if you need more information about the file,
try calling stat. To match filenames to some wildcard pattern,

Here is a tiny example which lists the files in the current directory:

#include <stdio.h>

#include <sys/types.h>

#include <dirent.h>



struct dirent *dp;

DIR *dfd = opendir(".");

if(dfd != NULL) {

while((dp = readdir(dfd)) != NULL)

printf("%sn", dp->d_name);



return 0;


(On older systems, the header file to #include may be <direct.h> or <dir.h>,
and the pointer returned by readdir may be a struct direct *. This example assumes
that "." is a synonym for the current directory.)

In a pinch, you could use popen to call an operating system list-directory program,
and read its output. (If you only need the filenames displayed to the user, you
could conceivably use system

Posted by:Richards