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Title: shutil.make_archive() root_dir do not work
Type: behavior Stage: patch review
Components: Documentation, Library (Lib) Versions: Python 3.8, Python 3.7
Status: open Resolution:
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: docs@python Nosy List: DemoHT, bananaappletw, cheryl.sabella, docs@python, ezio.melotti, giampaolo.rodola, hynek, lys.nikolaou, martin.panter, miss-islington, r.david.murray, rixx, serhiy.storchaka, tarek, vstinner
Priority: normal Keywords: easy, patch

Created on 2014-07-21 09:50 by DemoHT, last changed 2022-04-11 14:58 by admin.

File name Uploaded Description Edit
Issue22021.patch DemoHT, 2014-07-22 03:14 review
Pull Requests
URL Status Linked Edit
PR 10191 closed nanjekyejoannah, 2018-10-28 18:56
PR 10367 merged lys.nikolaou, 2018-11-06 18:08
PR 20709 merged miss-islington, 2020-06-08 05:01
PR 20710 merged miss-islington, 2020-06-08 05:01
PR 20711 merged miss-islington, 2020-06-08 05:01
PR 20712 closed miss-islington, 2020-06-08 05:02
Messages (34)
msg223568 - (view) Author: Weinan Li (DemoHT) * Date: 2014-07-21 09:50
set root_dir do not work

Python 3.4.0 (v3.4.0:04f714765c13, Mar 16 2014, 19:25:23) [MSC v.1600 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license()" for more information.
>>> import shutil
>>> shutil.make_archive("tmp.tar.gz", "gztar", "c:/xjtu", "c:/tmp")

source code of make_archive()
756    save_cwd = os.getcwd()
757    if root_dir is not None:
758        if logger is not None:
759            logger.debug("changing into '%s'", root_dir)
760        base_name = os.path.abspath(base_name)
761        if not dry_run:
762            os.chdir(root_dir)
782    try:
783        filename = func(base_name, base_dir, **kwargs)
784    finally:

base_name is set before chdir, so the archive always be created in cwd, whether set root_dir or not.
so, line 760 should be move below line 762
msg223569 - (view) Author: Ezio Melotti (ezio.melotti) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-07-21 09:58
Thanks for the report, do you want to provide a patch?
(You can check the devguide if you need more information.)
msg223572 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-07-21 11:04
I believe this is working as designed, although the documentation does not make that clear.  root dir is the root directory of the *created archive*, it has nothing to do with where the archive file itself is placed.
msg223622 - (view) Author: Weinan Li (DemoHT) * Date: 2014-07-22 02:06
I don't think so.

In source code, it just change work dir to root_dir, do nothing, and then the change word dir back.

If it works as design, the "root_dir" will be meaningless. should be remove.
msg223624 - (view) Author: Weinan Li (DemoHT) * Date: 2014-07-22 03:14
Here's the path
msg223668 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-07-22 12:11
The point *should* be that if you have something like:


and you set rootdir to '/home/me/some' and base_dir='/home/me/some/directory/my' then the file paths in the archive will be:


At least, that's how I read the docs, though as I said they are *not* clear.  (I can't otherwise imagine any reason to have the root_dir parameter, with that name.)

Is this not what happens?
msg223805 - (view) Author: Weinan Li (DemoHT) * Date: 2014-07-24 03:07
that sounds reasonable
msg273073 - (view) Author: Wei Bo Chen (bananaappletw) Date: 2016-08-19 03:35
Sorry to bother.

But This patch is still not accepted.

I still suffer this issue.

Is anyone willing to review this patch?

msg273074 - (view) Author: Wei Bo Chen (bananaappletw) Date: 2016-08-19 03:53
Or, Is there anything I could help?

I am glad to help fixing this issue.
msg273077 - (view) Author: Berker Peksag (berker.peksag) * (Python committer) Date: 2016-08-19 04:47
Hi bananaapple, there are two things that need to be addressed:

1. We need to decide whether this is a bug in make_archive() implementation or not. See msg223572 and msg223668 for details. I personally agree with David's analysis in msg223668.

We can rephrase make_archive() documentation to clarify what root_dir exactly does.

2. If this is a bug in make_archive() implementation, we need to add a test case. You can take a look at Lib/test/
msg273078 - (view) Author: Serhiy Storchaka (serhiy.storchaka) * (Python committer) Date: 2016-08-19 05:02
Agree with David, this is working as designed (and matching the behavior of say "tar -C"). But the documentation is not clear if not confusing.
msg273080 - (view) Author: Wei Bo Chen (bananaappletw) Date: 2016-08-19 05:21
Hello Berker Peksag,

1. For now, I realize the comment of David.

This is not a bug of make_archive() implementation.

However, I think documentation is not clear to understand at the first time reading it.

Maybe it should be rephrased.

2. Actually, what I am looking in this function is able to output the archive to another directory rather than current directory.

But, this functionality is not provided.

I think this functionality will be useful if implemented.

What do you think about this?

Thank you for your explaination.
msg273128 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2016-08-19 14:50
"base_name is the name of the file to create, including the path".  So you should be able to specify the path to where you want it created.  If that doesn't work, that's a bug.
msg273180 - (view) Author: Wei Bo Chen (bananaappletw) Date: 2016-08-20 01:35
I am sorry.

I understand now.

Thank you.
msg318132 - (view) Author: Tobias Kunze (rixx) * Date: 2018-05-29 22:39
I'm similarly confused by this issue. If somebody can help me understand what's going on, I'll put my understanding into a documentation patch.

I have created this minimal example to demonstrate what I don't understand: I've created a directory structure within /tmp like this:

└── root
    └── structure
        ├── content
        │   └── please_add.txt
        └── do_not_add.txt

Now I'd like to create a zip archive that contains the directories "structure" and "content", and the file "please_add.txt", but not the file "do_not_add.txt". My understanding of the documentation was that I'd have to do this:

>>> shutil.make_archive(base_name='/tmp/issue22021archive', format='zip', root_dir='/tmp/issue22021/root', base_dir='/tmp/issue22021/root/structure/content')

But on my system, the created file (/tmp/ looks like this according to unzip -l:

  Length      Date    Time    Name
---------  ---------- -----   ----
        0  2018-05-30 00:26   tmp/issue22021/root/structure/content/
        0  2018-05-30 00:26   tmp/issue22021/root/structure/content/please_add.txt
---------                     -------
        0                     2 files

This is consistent with my experience that created archives will always contain directories from / on, which is unexpected to me.

It appears this happens whenever base_dir and root_dir is set, but to my understanding the documentation does not warn against this.

I've confirmed this behaviour with Python 3.6.5 and Python 3.5.3, but I suspect that doesn't really matter, as it seems to be a documentation issue.
msg318148 - (view) Author: Wei Bo Chen (bananaappletw) Date: 2018-05-30 03:50
I think this snippet might help you.

shutil.make_archive(base_name='/tmp/issue22021archive', format='zip', root_dir='/tmp/issue22021/root/', base_dir='structure/content/')

unzip -l /tmp/

Archive:  /tmp/
  Length      Date    Time    Name
---------  ---------- -----   ----
        0  2018-05-30 11:14   structure/content/
        0  2018-05-30 11:02   structure/content/please_add.txt
---------                     -------
        0                     2 files
msg318172 - (view) Author: Tobias Kunze (rixx) * Date: 2018-05-30 11:45
Thank you, that's what I figured out later last evening. To my understanding, the docs don't give any indication that base_dir is supposed to be relative to root_dir, so I'd add this information, and maybe add a similar example to the one above, if that's appropriate?
msg318178 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2018-05-30 12:35
Sounds reasonable to me.
msg328860 - (view) Author: STINNER Victor (vstinner) * (Python committer) Date: 2018-10-29 19:59

Joannah Nanjekye converted Issue22021.patch into a PR: PR 10191.

Serhiy Storchaka closed the PR: "The current behavior looks correct to me. It is consistent with the behavior of the tar command. This change breaks tests and I think it will break user code. Read the discussion on bpo-22021."
msg328865 - (view) Author: Serhiy Storchaka (serhiy.storchaka) * (Python committer) Date: 2018-10-29 20:11
This is a documentation issue.
msg329326 - (view) Author: Lysandros Nikolaou (lys.nikolaou) * (Python committer) Date: 2018-11-06 01:57
Is anybody working on this or can I submit a PR?
msg329355 - (view) Author: STINNER Victor (vstinner) * (Python committer) Date: 2018-11-06 13:14
> Is anybody working on this or can I submit a PR?

Yes: Joannah Nanjekye wrote PR 10191 (from Issue22021.patch) which has been rejected. This issue is more complex from what it looks.
msg329365 - (view) Author: Lysandros Nikolaou (lys.nikolaou) * (Python committer) Date: 2018-11-06 16:18
Since Serhiy said that this is a pure documentation issue, I thought that a doc PR is all that was needed, which I would be happy to make. Am I missing something here?
msg329371 - (view) Author: Tobias Kunze (rixx) * Date: 2018-11-06 17:53
Yes, this is a documentation issue: A patch clarifying what root_dir and base_dir do, and how they interact (or how they are to be used in combination) would be sufficient to close this issue.
msg330902 - (view) Author: Lysandros Nikolaou (lys.nikolaou) * (Python committer) Date: 2018-12-02 22:14
msg337016 - (view) Author: Lysandros Nikolaou (lys.nikolaou) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-03-02 18:42
Pinging once more for review.
msg342317 - (view) Author: Cheryl Sabella (cheryl.sabella) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-05-13 12:45
@giampaolo.rodola, would you be able to provide a review of this doc change?  Thanks!
msg342347 - (view) Author: Giampaolo Rodola' (giampaolo.rodola) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-05-13 15:48
@cheryl.sabella don't have the bandwidth right now (traveling), sorry.
msg342359 - (view) Author: Cheryl Sabella (cheryl.sabella) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-05-13 16:53
@giampaolo.rodola, no problem.  I intended this more as a general request rather than something for right now.  If you do have any availability at some point, please keep this one in mind.  Thanks!
msg370959 - (view) Author: miss-islington (miss-islington) Date: 2020-06-08 05:01
New changeset 7633371dace67aaa21eb4b86f889441571ec4167 by Lysandros Nikolaou in branch 'master':
bpo-22021: Update root_dir and base_dir documentation in shutil (GH-10367)
msg370960 - (view) Author: miss-islington (miss-islington) Date: 2020-06-08 05:07
New changeset d5489a964fadc028c7086218702daf6fae087340 by Miss Islington (bot) in branch '3.7':
bpo-22021: Update root_dir and base_dir documentation in shutil (GH-10367)
msg370961 - (view) Author: miss-islington (miss-islington) Date: 2020-06-08 05:08
New changeset be5ed59e29106634a0d02d96ed35fb71ed61cb6d by Miss Islington (bot) in branch '3.9':
bpo-22021: Update root_dir and base_dir documentation in shutil (GH-10367)
msg370962 - (view) Author: miss-islington (miss-islington) Date: 2020-06-08 05:08
New changeset 12dfbae2ec30e7c90499129b17b6049bfd9bb2b6 by Miss Islington (bot) in branch '3.8':
bpo-22021: Update root_dir and base_dir documentation in shutil (GH-10367)
msg370975 - (view) Author: Lysandros Nikolaou (lys.nikolaou) * (Python committer) Date: 2020-06-08 11:56
Since GH-10367 is now merged, should we close this?
Date User Action Args
2022-04-11 14:58:06adminsetgithub: 66220
2020-06-08 11:56:35lys.nikolaousetmessages: + msg370975
2020-06-08 05:08:55miss-islingtonsetmessages: + msg370962
2020-06-08 05:08:17miss-islingtonsetmessages: + msg370961
2020-06-08 05:07:13miss-islingtonsetmessages: + msg370960
2020-06-08 05:02:00miss-islingtonsetpull_requests: + pull_request19927
2020-06-08 05:01:53miss-islingtonsetpull_requests: + pull_request19926
2020-06-08 05:01:45miss-islingtonsetpull_requests: + pull_request19925
2020-06-08 05:01:37miss-islingtonsetpull_requests: + pull_request19924
2020-06-08 05:01:27miss-islingtonsetnosy: + miss-islington
messages: + msg370959
2019-05-13 16:53:30cheryl.sabellasetmessages: + msg342359
2019-05-13 15:48:50giampaolo.rodolasetmessages: + msg342347
2019-05-13 12:45:45cheryl.sabellasetnosy: + cheryl.sabella, giampaolo.rodola

messages: + msg342317
versions: - Python 3.6
2019-03-02 18:42:19lys.nikolaousetmessages: + msg337016
2018-12-02 22:14:30lys.nikolaousetmessages: + msg330902
2018-11-06 18:08:14lys.nikolaousetstage: needs patch -> patch review
pull_requests: + pull_request9668
2018-11-06 17:53:52rixxsetmessages: + msg329371
2018-11-06 16:18:20lys.nikolaousetmessages: + msg329365
2018-11-06 13:14:40vstinnersetmessages: + msg329355
2018-11-06 01:57:38lys.nikolaousetnosy: + lys.nikolaou
messages: + msg329326
2018-10-29 20:11:23serhiy.storchakasetstage: patch review -> needs patch
messages: + msg328865
versions: + Python 3.7, Python 3.8, - Python 3.5
2018-10-29 19:59:01vstinnersetnosy: + vstinner
messages: + msg328860
2018-10-28 18:56:24nanjekyejoannahsetstage: needs patch -> patch review
pull_requests: + pull_request9509
2018-07-27 12:41:08berker.peksagsetnosy: - berker.peksag
2018-05-30 12:35:15r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg318178
2018-05-30 11:45:44rixxsetmessages: + msg318172
2018-05-30 03:50:59bananaappletwsetmessages: + msg318148
2018-05-29 22:39:30rixxsetnosy: + rixx
messages: + msg318132
2016-08-20 01:35:27bananaappletwsetmessages: + msg273180
2016-08-19 14:50:34r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg273128
2016-08-19 05:21:08bananaappletwsetmessages: + msg273080
2016-08-19 05:17:29berker.peksagsetversions: + Python 3.5, Python 3.6, - Python 3.4
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2016-08-19 03:53:27bananaappletwsetmessages: + msg273074
2016-08-19 03:35:07bananaappletwsetnosy: + bananaappletw
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2014-07-24 03:07:59DemoHTsetmessages: + msg223805
2014-07-22 12:11:03r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg223668
2014-07-22 04:27:15martin.pantersetnosy: + martin.panter
2014-07-22 03:14:20DemoHTsetfiles: + Issue22021.patch
keywords: + patch
messages: + msg223624
2014-07-22 02:06:16DemoHTsetmessages: + msg223622
2014-07-21 11:04:26r.david.murraysetnosy: + r.david.murray, docs@python
messages: + msg223572

assignee: docs@python
components: + Documentation
2014-07-21 09:58:44ezio.melottisetnosy: + hynek, ezio.melotti, tarek
messages: + msg223569

keywords: + easy
stage: needs patch
2014-07-21 09:50:13DemoHTcreate