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The pathname is a specific label for a file’s directory location while within an operating system. In traditional DOS command line systems, the user would type the entire file pathname into the system to be directed to that file where it is located inside of the operating system.
Innovative graphical user interfaces have abstracted the ways that file pathnames are used. In modern Windows environments, the end user does not see the pathname unless they open up a DOS command line shell. However pathnames are still commonly visible in interfaces like Linux, and even where they are not commonly visible, they are still useful as a means of locating individual files within directories.