Do I have a way to check the existence of a directory in Ant (not a file)?

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ant if property set

How do I check for the existence of a folder using Ant?

We can check the existence of a file, but can we do the same for a folder as well?

You use the available task with type set to "dir".

For example:

<available file="${dir}" type="dir"/>

The standard way to do conditional processing is with the condition task. In the example below, running doFoo will echo a message if the directory exists, whereas running doBar will echo a message unless the directory exists.

The dir.check target is required by both doFoo and doBar, it sets the dir.exists property to true or false depending on the result of the available task. The doFoo target will only run if that propery is set to true and doBar will only run if it is not set or set to false.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<project name="test" default="doFoo" basedir=".">
  <property name="directory" value="c:\test\directory"/>

  <target name="doFoo" depends="dir.check" if="dir.exists">
    <echo>${directory} exists</echo>
  </target>

  <target name="doBar" depends="dir.check" unless="dir.exists">
    <echo>${directory} missing"</echo>
  </target>

  <target name="dir.check">
    <condition property="dir.exists">
      <available file="${directory}" type="dir"/>
    </condition>
  </target>
</project>

Antelope provides additional tasks, including an If task that can make the processing simpler (and to me, more intuitive), you can download the Antelope tasks from the download page.

How to check if directory exists before deleting it, using ANT?, When I execute it, however, I am informed that the build directory does not exist. I must tell Ant to create this directory and ensure that this is done before the Finally, I have to fix the test target as it no longer can find any bytecode files. as there are situations where Ant's way of recompiling gives a false positive, i.e. report  The type of file to look for, either a directory (type=dir) or a file (type=file). If not set, the property will be set if the name specified in the file attribute exists as either a file or a directory. No: ignoresystemclasses: Ignore Ant's runtime classes, using only the specified classpath. Only affects the classname attribute.

Here's a small example incorporating the available element into an if test.

<!-- Test if a directory called "my_directory" is present -->
<if>
  <available file="my_directory" type="dir" />
  <then>
    <echo message="Directory exists" />
  </then>
  <else>
    <echo message="Directory does not exist" />
  </else>
</if>

Warning: you need ant-contrib.jar in your ANT_HOME\lib directory otherwise you won't have access to the if elements, and your script will fail with this error:

Problem: failed to create task or type if
Cause: The name is undefined.
Action: Check the spelling.
Action: Check that any custom tasks/types have been declared.
Action: Check that any <presetdef>/<macrodef> declarations have taken place. 

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Here's my solution, which doesn't require setting properties and using targets with 'if' or 'unless':

Macro:

<macrodef name="assertDirAvailable">
    <attribute name="dir" />
    <sequential>
        <fail message="The directory '@{dir}' was expected to be available but is not">
            <condition>
                <not>
                    <available file="@{dir}" type="dir" />
                </not>
            </condition>
        </fail>
    </sequential>
</macrodef>

Usage:

<assertDirAvailable dir="${dirToCheck}" />

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Here is another approach, allows to call just one task without using ant-contrib.jar.

<target name="my-task" depends="dir-check">
    <antcall target="my-task-install"/>
    <antcall target="my-task-update"/>
</target>
<target name="my-task-install" unless="dir.exists" >
    {some task}
</target>
<target name="my-task-update" if="dir.exists" >
    {another task}
</target>
<target name="dir-check">
    <condition property="dir.exists">
        <available file="my-dir" type="dir" />
    </condition>
</target>

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Comments
  • But this will set a property value to true. Then how should I check the condition. I mean any "if"?
  • Why the verification dir.check is after doFoo and doBar? shouldn't be the other way? @Rich Seller
  • @MiguelOrtiz the declaration order doesn't matter, execution depends only on depends attributes. I think it's cleaner to put so to speak "public" targets on top, and "private" utility targets at the bottom
  • @CoderinoJavarino ty, it's clear now.
  • I like the simplicity and expressiveness of this solution. It was worth the extra heavy lifting to get ant-contrib.jar installed.
  • Nice! Avoids ant-contrib.jar which is a good thing. Keeps it declarative rather than procedural.
  • Correction though: it should be ${artifactDir} not @{artifactDir}.
  • I copied that usage example from an actual build script of mine where artifactDir was an attribute in a macrodef. I've changed the usage example to the possibly more common case of passing a parameter rather than a macrodef attribute. Thanks!
  • 5+ years later, I think doCustomize should have been doMagic.