What is the purpose of realpath in PHP?

The realpath function in PHP is used to retrieve the absolute path name of a specified directory. Its main purpose is to convert relative paths to absolute paths, resolve symbolic links, and normalize paths.

Specifically, the function of the realpath is to:

  1. Convert a relative path to an absolute path: If the given path is a relative path (relative to the current working directory), the realpath function will return the absolute path of that path.
  2. Analyze symbolic links: The realpath function recursively resolves symbolic links in a path, returning the final actual file or directory path it points to.
  3. Normalize path: The realpath function removes redundant parts of a path, such as “.” and “..”, making the path more standardized and easier to understand.

Usage example:

$path = './folder/file.txt';
$absolutePath = realpath($path);

echo $absolutePath;

In the above example, if $path is a relative path, the realpath function will return the absolute path corresponding to this relative path.

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