# File duplicate finder

In an attempt to clean out my picture collection I made a script to find all duplicate files

import datetime
import hashlib
import json
import typing
from collections import defaultdict
from pathlib import Path

def filesize(path: Path) -> int:
"""returns the filesize"""
return path.stat().st_size

def hash_first(
path: Path, hash_function=hashlib.md5, blocksize: int = 65536
) -> str:
"""returns the hash of the first block of the file"""
with path.open("rb") as afile:

def hash_all(path: Path, hash_function=hashlib.md5, blocksize=65536) -> str:
"""returns the hash of the whole file"""
with path.open("rb") as afile:
hasher = hash_function()
while buf:
hasher.update(buf)
return hasher.hexdigest()

def compare_files(
comparison: typing.Callable[[Path], typing.Hashable], duplicates: dict
) -> dict:
"""
Subdivides each group along comparison
discards subgroups with less than 2 items
"""
results: defaultdict = defaultdict(list)
for old_hash, files in duplicates.items():
for file in files:
results[(*old_hash, comparison(file))].append(file)

return {
filehash: files
for filehash, files in results.items()
if len(files) > 1
}

def find_duplicates(
rootdir: Path,
comparisons: typing.Iterable[
typing.Callable[[Path], typing.Hashable]
] = (),
):
"""
Finds duplicate files in rootdir and its subdirectories

Returns a list with subgroups of identical files

Groups the files along the each of the comparisons in turn.
Subgroups with less than 2 items are discarded.

Each of the comparisons should be a callable that accepts a
pathlib.Path as only argument, and returns a hashable value

if comparisons is not defined, compares along:
1. file size
2. MD5 hash of the first block (65536 bytes)
3. MD5 hash of the whole file
"""
if not comparisons:
comparisons = filesize, hash_first, hash_all

duplicates = {(): filter(Path.is_file, rootdir.glob("**/*"))}
for comparison in comparisons:
duplicates = compare_files(comparison, duplicates)
return [tuple(map(str, files)) for files in duplicates.values()]

if __name__ == "__main__":
pic_dir = r"./testdata"
results = find_duplicates(rootdir=Path(pic_dir))

# print(json.dumps(results, indent=2))

timestamp = datetime.datetime.now().strftime("%Y%m%d_%H%M%S")
output_file = Path("./output") / f"{timestamp}.json"
with output_file.open("w") as fh:
json.dump(results, fh, indent=2)


Any remarks on this code?

The code is formatted with black (linelength 79), with mypy pylint and pylama as linters.

If I try to specify the dict as argument and return value to compare_files to typing.Dict[typing.Tuple[typing.Hashable, ...], typing.Iterable[Path]], mypy complains: Incompatible types in assignment (expression has type "Dict[Tuple[Hashable, ...], Iterable[Path]]", variable has type "Dict[Tuple[], Iterator[Path]]")

1. Instead of rootdir.glob("**/*") you can write rootdir.rglob("*"). rglob adds "**/" automatically before the given pattern.
2. You specify the return type of the comparison functions as Hashable. I'm not really sure why. Are you thinking that you will have more comparison functions in the future that would return something other than int or str? I think you could limit it to FileHash = Union[int, str] for now. I doubt that you will have functions that would return such hashable objects as, for example, namedtuples or frozensets.
3. Maybe I don't understand something, but I don't really see the point why compare_files function exists. I would expect it to take as an argument an iterable of paths to the files, but instead, it takes them packed in a dictionary which doesn't make much sense to me. By taking the logic out of it to the outer find_duplicates function you will also avoid the problem with mypy complaining about incompatible types. It could look, for example, like this

FileHash = Union[int, str]
Hashes = Tuple[FileHash, ...]

def find_duplicates(rootdir: Path,
comparisons: Iterable[Callable[[Path], FileHash]] = ()
) -> List[Tuple[str, ...]]:
if not comparisons:
comparisons = filesize, hash_first, hash_all

files = filter(Path.is_file, rootdir.rglob("*"))

files_per_hashes: Dict[Hashes, List[Path]] = defaultdict(list)
for file in files:
key = tuple(hasher(file) for hasher in comparisons)
files_per_hashes[key].append(file)
duplicates = (files for files in files_per_hashes.values()
if len(files) > 1)
return [tuple(map(str, files)) for files in duplicates]

4. You are missing type hints for hash_functions. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to solve the problem with their return types. If you are on Python 3.7, you could try something like this (idea taken from https://github.com/python/typeshed/issues/2928):

from __future__ import annotations

Hasher = Union[Callable[[ByteString], hashlib._hashlib.HASH],
Callable[[], hashlib._hashlib.HASH]]
...
def hash_first(path: Path,
hash_function: Hasher = hashlib.md5,
blocksize: int = 65536) -> str:
...


but mypy doesn't like it. It says:

error: Name 'hashlib._hashlib.HASH' is not defined


Maybe you could dig a bit more in this direction.

5. I also think that it would be better to make the comparisons as an Optional argument in the find_duplicates function with default value set to None because right now you use tuple as an immutable version of list (the data you keep in that tuple is homogeneous but tuples are meant to keep heterogenous data, and the number of elements in the tuples is usually fixed). As Guido van Rossum said: "Tuples are *not* read-only lists."

Some suggestions:

• I would usually inline single line functions unless what they do is hard to understand from just reading the command. filesize might be one such candidate.
• I believe that not specifying the block size can be faster, by allowing Python to use whatever block size it thinks is appropriate. This would need some actual testing though.
• Your function arguments are only partially typed. You might want to use a stricter mypy configuration, such as the following, in your setup.cfg:

[mypy]
check_untyped_defs = true
disallow_untyped_defs = true
ignore_missing_imports = true
no_implicit_optional = true
warn_redundant_casts = true
warn_return_any = true
warn_unused_ignores = true

• MD5 was optimized for cryptographic use, not for speed. Another Q&A explores options for fast non-cryptographic hashing.
• I would avoid converting digests to strings - it might be slightly easier for debugging purposes, but data type conversions are in general very costly.
• Optional parameters mean you have to test at least two things rather than one. Your code only ever calls the hash_* functions without optional parameters, so you might as well either inline them.
• On a related note, static values which are used in multiple places are perfect for pulling out as constants. The hashing function and block size would be obvious candidates for this.
• Mutable default parameter values are an accident waiting to happen. The default pattern for this is to use a default of None and to assign a default if foo is None.
• r-strings like r"./testdata" are meant for regular expressions. Since pic_dir is not used as such it should probably be a regular string.
• duplicates is at first a list of potential duplicates and later is trimmed in stages. This makes the code hard to follow.
• Things like the directory/directories to include should be arguments. argparse can deal with this easily.
• To make this more scriptable I would print the result on standard output. It's trivial to then redirect it to a file.

I'm writing my own answer here because I incorporated some of the remarks of both other answers, and ignored other ones. In this answer I explain why I took certain design choices.

# @Georgy:

1. good tip
2. I don't expect much other than str and int, but bytes is a possibility too (hash.digest)
3. The use of compare_files is to also whittle the subgroups down (if len(files) > 1). I stagger the comparisons from fast to more expensive. There might be a lot of files with the same size, but if they don't have the same checksum in their first few bytes, there is no use in comparing the complete file. When done with an step in between logging how much files got compared at each stage, I saw the numbers dwindling step per step.
4. the typeshed has a class signature for "hashlib._Hash", so I adapted this to a typing.Protocol

# @l0b0

1. I didn't inline them because I want to refer to them as named functions. I could make lambda's out of them, but that signifies the intent less than a named function filesize
2. I suggest a blocksize here to prevent python from reading in complete 8GB files into memory to take a digest
3. nice tip on the stricter mypy. It's tedious to do this for an existing code base, but it has showed me some bugs I wouldn't have otherwise spotted otherwise, so I'm gradually introducing this elsewhere as well.
4. I used md5 because I could easily verify the md5hash against an external tool to test my implementation. Later I moved to CRC32.
5. In my first versions I exported the duplicates in between iterations, and then a string representation was handy, and to compare it to the output of external tools to compute the hash
6. True
7. good tip
8. Where did I use a mutable default parameter?
9. I use r-strings for Windows paths as well. Then I don't have to escape all the \. Recently I found out VS Code makes a distinction in how it represents r and R strings, so I switched to R (Apparently black doesn't like them, and changes them to r"")
10. That is the tricky part I have not been able to convey cleanly, but this is to dwindle down the more expensive operations. I renamed it to potential_duplicates
11. and 12. Correct, and this might be a good opportunity for a next version.

# Other things

• I include pydocstyle in my routing, so the docstring requirements have become a bit more strict. I haven't found the patience to annotate every parameter. I hope the variable names are clear enough
• I included a min_filesize argument to find_duplicates to be able to focus on the larger duplicates when trying to reduce disk usage

crc32.hash.py

"""CRC32 adapted to the hashlib._Hash protocol."""
from __future__ import annotations

import typing
import zlib

class Hash(typing.Protocol):
"""Protocol for a hash algorithm."""

digest_size: int
block_size: int

name: str

def __init__(
self, data: typing.Union[bytes, bytearray, memoryview] = ...
) -> None:
"""Protocol for a hash algorithm."""
...

def copy(self) -> Hash:
"""Return a copy of the hash object."""
...

def digest(self) -> bytes:
"""Return the digest of the data passed to the update() method."""
...

def hexdigest(self) -> str:
"""Like digest() except the digest is returned as a string object.

Like digest() except the digest is returned as a string object
of double length, containing only hexadecimal digits.
"""
...

def update(self, arg: typing.Union[bytes, bytearray, memoryview]) -> None:
"""Update the hash object with the bytes-like object."""
...

class CRC32(Hash):
"""Adapts zlib.crc32" for the hashlib protocol."""

# docstring borrowed from https://docs.python.org/3/library/hashlib.html
digest_size = -1
block_size = -1

name = "crc32"

def __init__(self, data: typing.Union[bytes, bytearray, memoryview] = b""):
"""Adapts zlib.crc32" for the hashlib protocol."""
self._checksum = zlib.crc32(bytes(data))

def copy(self) -> CRC32:
"""Return a copy of the hash object."""
duplicate = CRC32()
duplicate._checksum = self._checksum
return duplicate

def digest(self) -> bytes:
"""Return the digest of the data passed to the update() method."""
return self._checksum.to_bytes(2, byteorder="big")

def hexdigest(self) -> str:
"""Like digest() except the digest is returned as a string object.

Like digest() except the digest is returned as a string object
of double length, containing only hexadecimal digits.
"""
return f"{self._checksum:X}"

def update(self, arg: typing.Union[bytes, bytearray, memoryview]) -> None:
"""Update the hash object with the bytes-like object."""
self._checksum = zlib.crc32(arg, self._checksum)

if __name__ == "__main__":
test_files = {"CHANGELOG.rst": "C171C371"}
for filename, expected in test_files.items():
with open(filename, "rb") as f:

print(f"{filename}: expected: {expected}; calculated: {checksum}")


find_duplicates.py

"""Code to find duplicate files."""
from __future__ import annotations

import datetime
import hashlib
import json
import typing
from collections import defaultdict
from pathlib import Path

from crc32hash import CRC32, Hash

_Duplicates = typing.Mapping[
typing.Tuple[typing.Hashable, ...], typing.Iterable[Path]
]
DEFAULT_BLOCKSIZE = 65536

def filesize(path: Path) -> int:
"""Return the filesize."""
return path.stat().st_size

def hash_first(
path: Path,
hash_function: typing.Callable[[bytes], Hash] = hashlib.sha256,
blocksize: int = DEFAULT_BLOCKSIZE,
) -> str:
"""Return the hash of the first block of the file."""
with path.open("rb") as afile:

def hash_all(
path: Path, hash_function: typing.Callable[[bytes], Hash] = hashlib.sha256,
) -> str:
"""Return the hash of the whole file."""
with path.open("rb") as afile:
hasher = hash_function(b"")
while buf:
hasher.update(buf)
return hasher.hexdigest()

def crc_first(path: Path, blocksize: int = DEFAULT_BLOCKSIZE,) -> str:
"""Return the crc32 hash of the first block of the file."""
return hash_first(path=path, hash_function=CRC32, blocksize=blocksize)

def crc32_all(path: Path) -> str:
"""Return the crc32 hash of the whole file."""
return hash_all(path=path, hash_function=CRC32)

def compare_files(
comparison: typing.Callable[[Path], typing.Hashable],
potential_duplicates: _Duplicates,
) -> _Duplicates:
"""Subdivide each group along comparison.

Discards subgroups with less than 2 items
"""
results: typing.DefaultDict[
typing.Tuple[typing.Hashable, ...], typing.List[Path]
] = defaultdict(list)
for old_hash, files in potential_duplicates.items():
for file in files:
results[(*old_hash, comparison(file))].append(file)

return {
filehash: files
for filehash, files in results.items()
if len(files) > 1
}

def find_duplicates(
rootdir: Path,
comparisons: typing.Optional[
typing.Iterable[typing.Callable[[Path], typing.Hashable]]
] = None,
min_filesize: typing.Optional[int] = None,
) -> typing.List[typing.Tuple[str, ...]]:
"""Find duplicate files in rootdir and its subdirectories.

Returns a list with subgroups of identical files

Groups the files along the each of the comparisons in turn.
Subgroups with less than 2 items are discarded.

Each of the comparisons should be a callable that accepts a
pathlib.Path as only argument, and returns a hashable value

if comparisons is not defined, compares along:
1. file size
2. CRC32 hash of the first block (65536 bytes)
3. CRC32 hash of the whole file
"""
if comparisons is None:
comparisons = [filesize, crc_first, crc32_all]

potential_duplicates: _Duplicates = {
(): (file for file in rootdir.rglob("*") if file.is_file())
}
if min_filesize is not None:
potential_duplicates = {
key: (file for file in files if filesize(file) > min_filesize)
for key, files in potential_duplicates.items()
}

for comparison in comparisons:
potential_duplicates = compare_files(comparison, potential_duplicates)
return [tuple(map(str, files)) for files in potential_duplicates.values()]

if __name__ == "__main__":
duplicate_dir = Path(r".")
results = find_duplicates(rootdir=duplicate_dir, min_filesize=int(1e8))

# print(json.dumps(results, indent=2))

timestamp = datetime.datetime.now().strftime("%Y%m%d_%H%M%S")
output_file = Path("./output") / f"{timestamp}.json"
with output_file.open("w") as fh:
json.dump(results, fh, indent=2)
`