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Use this function to get the directory where the application was run from. This is where the application data directory is.


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.

The return path will be guaranteed to end with a path separator ('\' on Windows, '/' on most other platforms)

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

Code Examples

char *data_path = NULL;

void InitializeDataPath() {
    char *base_path = SDL_GetBasePath();
    if (base_path) {
        data_path = base_path;
    } else {
        data_path = SDL_strdup("./");


This is not necessarily a fast call, though, 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/



Example returned path


the bundle resource directory (the default)



the Bundle directory



the containing directory of the bundle



This function is available since SDL 2.0.1.

CategoryAPI, CategoryFilesystem

None: SDL_GetBasePath (last edited 2015-05-08 19:32:03 by PhilippWiesemann)

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