Home > Apache Ant, General, Technology > Ant set variable property & List ONLY Directory Name

Ant set variable property & List ONLY Directory Name

Unlike my previous post, this demo lists only the Directory Names and implicitly helps you in understanding how to change property values.

It is said that property value once set can’t be changed in the ant script.  But in this demo you’ll see how to re-set the property values.


  1. You should’ve downloaded ant-contrib jar from http://ant-contrib.sourceforge.net/#install
  2. Place ant-contrib.jar into <ANT_HOME>/lib directory


You first need to refer to your contrib jar in the <project> tag of build.xml.

I created two sample directories in my C:/AntTutorial for this demo

As you can see in the screen-shot there are 2 dirs, Test 1 and Test 2. The below ant script is going to list these two directory names as output.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project name="ForTest" default="build" basedir="." xmlns:ac="antlib:net.sf.antcontrib">
 <taskdef uri="antlib:net.sf.antcontrib"

 <property name="directory" value=""/>

 <target name="test">
 <echo message="Folders in the directory are:"/>
 <ac:foreach target="list.dirs" param="dir.name">
 <dirset dir="${basedir}" includes="*"/>

 <target name="list.dirs">
 <ac:var name="directory" unset="true"/>
 <basename property="directory" file="${dir.name}"/>
 <echo message="Absolute Path : ${dir.name}"/>
 <echo message="Directory     : ${directory}"/>

 <target name="build" depends="test" description="Test For loop"/>




Yous should see the following output on executing the above build script.

Here we are re-using the property ‘directory’ for temporarily storing the directory name. You need to call unset=”true” over this property to reset the value.


<ac:var name="directory" unset="true"/>
 <basename property="directory" file="${dir.name}"/>



Hope this post helps you…

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