Iterating over files of a huge directory

Oscar Benjamin oscar.j.benjamin at
Mon Dec 17 16:52:19 CET 2012

On 17 December 2012 15:28, Gilles Lenfant <gilles.lenfant at> wrote:
> I have googled but did not find an efficient solution to my problem. My customer provides a directory with a huuuuge list of files (flat, potentially 100000+) and I cannot reasonably use os.listdir(this_path) unless creating a big memory footprint.
> So I'm looking for an iterator that yields the file names of a directory and does not make a giant list of what's in.
> i.e :
> for filename in enumerate_files(some_directory):
>     # My cooking...

In the last couple of months there has been a lot of discussion (on
python-list or python-dev - not sure) about creating a library to more
efficiently iterate over the files in a directory. The result so far
is this library on github:

It says there that
Somewhat relatedly, many people have also asked for a version of
os.listdir() that yields filenames as it iterates instead of returning
them as one big list.

So as well as a faster walk(), BetterWalk adds iterdir_stat() and
iterdir(). They're pretty easy to use, but see below for the full API

Does that code work for you? If so, I imagine the author would be
interested to get some feedback on how well it works.

Alternatively, perhaps consider calling an external utility.


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