Peter Szabo Peter Szabo - 2 months ago 45
Java Question

File.isDirectory and isFile both false

I'm writing a java application, that lists directory contents.
When it comes to list the directory, the behavior of .isDirectory() method returns false for items, I'm pretty sure are directories.

public List<DefaultMutableTreeNode> getNodes(String path)
List<DefaultMutableTreeNode> nodes = new ArrayList<>();

File directory = new File(path).getAbsoluteFile();
File[] contents = directory.listFiles();

for (File item : contents)
if (item.isDirectory())
DefaultMutableTreeNode node = new DefaultMutableTreeNode(item.getName());
node.add(new DefaultMutableTreeNode("Placeholder..."));
nodes.add(new DefaultMutableTreeNode(item.getName()));

return nodes;

The above code always runs to the else branch.
If I replace the loop, I get an even weirder result:

for (File item : contents)
System.out.printf("%s - directory? %b file? %b %n", item.getAbsoluteFile().getPath(), item.isDirectory(), item.isFile());

The output of this is:

/storage/other - directory? false file? false

/storage/games - directory? false file? false

/storage/apps - directory? false file? false

/storage/testfile - directory? false file? false

if I list the files in the /storage directory, it is clear as day, that all but testfile is a directory.

What am I doing wrong?

To avoid confusion, /storage is an actual directory in /. Not a typo.


The cause of the problem was badly configured access permissions.
isDirectory, isFile, and exists will return false, if the user running the application doesn't have execute permissions.