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Utility to create dict representations of file system trees.

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Table of Contents


Quick Overview

  • Create a dictionary representation of a filesystem hierarchy.

  • Optionally report some stats on the hierarchy (esp size of each directory).


pftree recursively walks down an input directory tree and creates a dictionary representation of the path structure. Each tree “key” has a list of files in that corresponding directory in the filesystem.

pftree in and of itself is does not really do any work. It is a class that provides the internals for representing file system hierarchies in dictionary form.

As a convenience, however, the --stats or --statsReverse do provide a useful analog for sorted directory usage down a file system tree.

Given an <inputDir>, pftree will perform a recursive walk down the directory tree. For each directory that contains files, pftree will create a dictionary key of the directory path, and will store a list of filenames for the key value.

The core the of the class is a tree_analysisApply() method, that accepts various kwargs. When called, this method will loop over the dictionary, and for each key (i.e. ‘path’) will execute a callback method. This callback is passed the dictionary value at that key (i.e. usually just the list of files) as well as all the kwargs passed to tree_analysisApply().



The following dependencies are installed on your host system/python3 virtual env (they will also be automatically installed if pulled from pypi):

  • pfmisc (various misc modules and classes for the pf* family of objects)

Using PyPI

The best method of installing this script and all of its dependencies is by fetching it from PyPI

pip3 install pftree

Command line arguments

--inputDir <inputDir>
Input directory to examine. The downstream nested structure of this
directory is examined and recreated in the <outputDir>.

[--maxdepth <dirDepth>]
The maximum depth to descend relative to the <inputDir>. Note, that
this counts from zero! Default of '-1' implies transverse the entire
directory tree.

A flag argument. If passed (i.e. True), then the dictionary key values
are taken to be relative to the <inputDir>, i.e. the key values
will not contain the <inputDir>; otherwise the key values will
contain the <inputDir>.

[--inputFile <inputFile>]
An optional <inputFile> specified relative to the <inputDir>. If
specified, then do not perform a directory walk, but target this
specific file.

[--outputDir <outputDir>]
The directory to contain a tree structure identical to the input
tree structure, and which contains all output files from the
per-input-dir processing.

[--outputLeafDir <outputLeafDirFormat>]
If specified, will apply the <outputLeafDirFormat> to the output
directories containing data. This is useful to blanket describe
final output directories with some descriptive text, such as
'anon' or 'preview'.

This is a formatting spec, so

    --outputLeafDir 'preview-%%s'

where %%s is the original leaf directory node, will prefix each
final directory containing output with the text 'preview-' which
can be useful in describing some features of the output set.

[--threads <numThreads>]
If specified, break the innermost analysis loop into <numThreads>
threads. Please note the following caveats:

    * Only thread if you have a high CPU analysis loop. Note that
      the input file read and output file write loops are not
      threaded -- only the analysis loop is threaded. Thus, if the
      bulk of execution time is in file IO, threading will not
      really help.

    * Threading will change the nature of the innermost looping
      across the problem domain, with the result that *all* of the
      problem data will be read into memory! That means potentially
      all the target input file data across the entire input directory

If specified, do a JSON dump of the entire return payload.

If specified, follow symbolic links.

Show full help.

Show brief help.

[--verbosity <level>]
Set the app verbosity level. This ranges from 0...<N> where internal
log messages with a level=<M> will only display if M <= N. In this
manner increasing the level here can be used to show more and more
debugging info, assuming that debug messages in the code have been
tagged with a level.

[--stats | --statsReverse]
If specified, return some stats to caller -- summary list ordered
by directory size (--statsReverse does a reverse sort).

If specified, do a JSON dump of the stats.

If specified, prepend output 'log' messages in syslog style.

[--test <analysisDelayLength[:<type>]>]
If specified, perform a test/dummy run through the

    - read
    - analyze
    - write

callbacks. The <analysisDelayLength> denotes time (in seconds)
to delay in the analysis loop -- useful for testing threading

An optional [:<type>] can be specified.

    :0  - write the 'l_file' to each outputdir, i.e. a simple 'ls'
    :1  - write only the number of files analyzed to each outputdir,
          i.e. a summary.

For large trees, ':0' can take a significantly longer time than



Run on a target tree and output some detail and stats

pftree          --inputDir /var/www/html                                \
                --printElapsedTime                                      \
                --stats --verbosity 0 --json

which will output only at script conclusion and will log a JSON formatted string.


Run a test down a target tree:

pftree          --inputDir /etc                                         \
                --outputDir /tmp/test                                   \
                --verbosity 1 --relativeDir                             \
                --outputLeafDir 'preview-%%s'                           \
                --test 0

which will “copy” the input tree to the output, and save a file-ls.txt in each directory where necessary. Note the -r for ‘relative’ directory specification and the --outputLeafDir spec.


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