Powershell to generate file paths correctly in windows and unix


I want to generate a string for a file path inside a powershell script. I want this to work in both in windows and mac.

At the moment the code is hardcoded to windows like paths (“\” -> windows, “/” -> unix):


I changed this to:

$templatep= Join-Path $CoreRoot "templates" $serviceName

And it works in mac with Powershell 6.0. BUT it doesn’t work in my windows server with Powershell 4. I have to do something like this:

$templatep= Join-Path $CoreRoot -ChildPath "templates" | Join-Path -ChildPath $serviceName

Any idea why this is just working in my mac? Is this a new feature in powershell 5 or 6?
I dont’t like the having to pipe multiple Join-Paths. Is there a better way to do this?



First, a workaround using the .NET framework:

This yields a/b/c on Unix, and a\b\c on Windows, and conveniently supports any number of path components.


  • This workaround is only for filesystem paths, whereas Join-Path is designed to work with any PowerShell drive provider’s paths.
  • Make sure that no component other than the first starts with \ (Windows) or / (Unix), because any preceding component is then ignored; e.g., on Windows:
    [IO.Path]::Combine('\a', '\b', 'c') # -> '\b\c' - '\a' is ignored(!)
    Note that Join-Path does not exhibit this behavior; see this answer for details.

As an alternative to sequencing Join-Path calls with a pipeline you can simply use (...) (a subexpression):

The syntax displayed by Join-Path -? as of Windows PowerShell v5.1.14393.693 (incidental parameters omitted):

This syntax implies that invocation Join-Path a b c results in a syntax error in Windows PowerShell, because there is no parameter to bind the c argument to.

By contrast, the syntax displayed in PowerShell (Core) v6+ reveals an additional parameter:

It is the additional -AdditionalChildPath parameter, which is declared in a manner that collects all remaining positional arguments that (ValueFromRemainingArguments), that makes specifying an arbitrary number of child components work, so that Join-Path a b c indeed works, for instance.

Unfortunately, this enhancement won’t be back-ported to Windows PowerShell.

Note that even though [-Path] <String[]> is an array parameter, its purpose is not to accept multiple child path components of a single output path, but to allow joining of multiple parent-child path pairs; e.g.:

Finally, even you can typically get away with hard-coding / as the path separator on both platforms, because many Windows API functions as well as PowerShell’s own cmdlets accept \ and / interchangeably.
However, not all utilities may behave this way, so it’s generally safer to use the platform-appropriate separator.

For instance, the following works just fine on Windows:


Powershell to generate file paths correctly in windows and unix by licensed under CC BY-SA | With most appropriate answer!

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