SDL Wiki
(This is the legacy documentation for stable SDL2, the current stable version; SDL3 is the current development version.)


Get the directory where the application was run from.


char* SDL_GetBasePath(void);

Return Value

Returns an absolute path in UTF-8 encoding to the application data directory. NULL will be returned on error or when the platform doesn't implement this functionality, call SDL_GetError() for more information.


This is not necessarily a fast call, so you should call this once near startup and save the string if you need it.

Mac OS X and iOS Specific Functionality: If the application is in a ".app" bundle, this function returns the Resource directory (e.g. This behaviour can be overridden by adding a property to the Info.plist file. Adding a string key with the name SDL_FILESYSTEM_BASE_DIR_TYPE with a supported value will change the behaviour.

Supported values for the SDL_FILESYSTEM_BASE_DIR_TYPE property (Given an application in /Applications/SDLApp/

Nintendo 3DS Specific Functionality: This function returns "romfs" directory of the application as it is uncommon to store resources outside the executable. As such it is not a writable directory.

The returned path is guaranteed to end with a path separator ('' on Windows, '/' on most other platforms).

The pointer returned is owned by the caller. Please call SDL_free() on the pointer when done with it.


This function is available since SDL 2.0.1.


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