getparents_by_handle - Linux


getparents_by_handle is a powerful Linux command used to retrieve the parent directories of a specified handle. It is commonly employed in situations where one needs to quickly identify the hierarchy of a particular directory or file.


getparents_by_handle [-f FILE...] [-l] [-p PATH...] [-s] [-v] [DIR...]



  • -f FILE…: Specify one or more files or directories for which parent directories need to be retrieved.


  • -l: List all parent directories of the specified files or directories.
  • -p PATH…: Provide a list of paths to be ignored when searching for parent directories.
  • -s: Shorten the output by only displaying the last level of parent directories.
  • -v: Display verbose output, showing the full path of each parent directory.


Example 1: Retrieve parent directory of a file

getparents_by_handle -f /home/user/Documents/myfile.txt



Example 2: List all parent directories of a directory

getparents_by_handle -l -f /var/log/



Common Issues

  • No output: Ensure that the specified files or directories exist and are accessible.
  • Unexpected output: Check if any ignore paths (-p) are preventing the desired directories from being displayed.


getparents_by_handle can be used in combination with other Linux commands to perform advanced tasks:

  • Find file location: Use find to locate a file and then use getparents_by_handle to determine its parent directories.
  • Create directory structure: Create a directory tree using mkdir and then retrieve the parent directories of the created directories with getparents_by_handle.

Related Commands

  • find: Finds files or directories based on specified criteria.
  • dirname: Extracts the parent directory of a file or directory.
  • realpath: Resolves symbolic links and returns the real path of a file or directory.