Getting the home directory in Python and a bug in os.path.expanduser

Edward Diener diener896092_no_spam_here at bellsouth.net
Sat Jul 7 06:28:08 CEST 2007


What is the generic operating system way of getting the home directory ?

I am guessing it is os.path.expanduser("~"). Is there a better way or an 
alternate way ?

If it is as I surmise, the aforementioned expanduser("~") of os.path 
seems incorrect to me under Windows. The document says:

"On Windows, only "~" is supported; it is replaced by the environment 
variable HOME or by a combination of HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH."

But HOME is never the home directory for Windows, only the combination 
of HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH is valid, which is always set. If MSYS is 
installed under Windows, where HOME must be set to the MSYS home 
directory for a given user in order to emulate Linux/Unix, attempting to 
use os.path.expanduser("~") will incorrectly return the MSYS home 
directory for a given user rather than the Windows home directory for 
the logged in user. So I think the os.path.expanduser("~") works 
incorrectly in this case and needs to be fixed, else you are telling 
users never to use MSYS under Windows.



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