[erlang-questions] Best way to check if a given directory is empty (or not)?

Taavi Talvik <>
Tue Mar 13 23:26:37 CET 2012

On Mar 13, 2012, at 11:59 PM, Richard O'Keefe wrote:
>> On unix systems link_count=2 means, that directory is empty:
> No it doesn't.  It means that the directory has no *subdirectories*.

Mental note to myself - verify before posting;) 
Sorry for confusion!

Yes - thats correct. Link count > 2 means, that there are subdirectories.
(On unix, mac os x behaves differently). 

Richard's opendir/readir C code is only reasonably portable way. 
Similar implementation for windows with _findfirst/_findnext is at

C-code and port/NIF are way to go.

best regards,
"We should forget about small efficiencies, about 97 percent of the time. 
Premature optimization is the root of all evil." Donald Knuth

Taavi Talvik

+372 5656 9996

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