File::Copy(3)          Perl Programmers Reference Guide          File::Copy(3)

       File::Copy - Copy files or filehandles

               use File::Copy;

               copy("file1","file2") or die "Copy failed: $!";

               use File::Copy "cp";

               $n = FileHandle->new("/a/file","r");

       The File::Copy module provides two basic functions, "copy" and "move",
       which are useful for getting the contents of a file from one place to

       o   The "copy" function takes two parameters: a file to copy from and a
           file to copy to. Either argument may be a string, a FileHandle ref-
           erence or a FileHandle glob. Obviously, if the first argument is a
           filehandle of some sort, it will be read from, and if it is a file
           name it will be opened for reading. Likewise, the second argument
           will be written to (and created if need be).  Trying to copy a file
           on top of itself is a fatal error.

           Note that passing in files as handles instead of names may lead to
           loss of information on some operating systems; it is recommended
           that you use file names whenever possible.  Files are opened in
           binary mode where applicable.  To get a consistent behaviour when
           copying from a filehandle to a file, use "binmode" on the filehan-

           An optional third parameter can be used to specify the buffer size
           used for copying. This is the number of bytes from the first file,
           that wil be held in memory at any given time, before being written
           to the second file. The default buffer size depends upon the file,
           but will generally be the whole file (up to 2Mb), or 1k for file-
           handles that do not reference files (eg. sockets).

           You may use the syntax "use File::Copy "cp"" to get at the "cp"
           alias for this function. The syntax is exactly the same.

       o   The "move" function also takes two parameters: the current name and
           the intended name of the file to be moved.  If the destination
           already exists and is a directory, and the source is not a direc-
           tory, then the source file will be renamed into the directory spec-
           ified by the destination.

           If possible, move() will simply rename the file.  Otherwise, it
           copies the file to the new location and deletes the original.  If
           an error occurs during this copy-and-delete process, you may be
           left with a (possibly partial) copy of the file under the destina-
           tion name.

           You may use the "mv" alias for this function in the same way that
           you may use the "cp" alias for "copy".

       File::Copy also provides the "syscopy" routine, which copies the file
       specified in the first parameter to the file specified in the second
       parameter, preserving OS-specific attributes and file structure.  For
       Unix systems, this is equivalent to the simple "copy" routine, which
       doesn't preserve OS-specific attributes.  For VMS systems, this calls
       the "rmscopy" routine (see below).  For OS/2 systems, this calls the
       "syscopy" XSUB directly. For Win32 systems, this calls "Win32::Copy-

       On Mac OS (Classic), "syscopy" calls "Mac::MoreFiles::FSpFileCopy", if

       Special behaviour if "syscopy" is defined (OS/2, VMS and Win32)

       If both arguments to "copy" are not file handles, then "copy" will per-
       form a "system copy" of the input file to a new output file, in order
       to preserve file attributes, indexed file structure, etc.  The buffer
       size parameter is ignored.  If either argument to "copy" is a handle to
       an opened file, then data is copied using Perl operators, and no effort
       is made to preserve file attributes or record structure.

       The system copy routine may also be called directly under VMS and OS/2
       as "File::Copy::syscopy" (or under VMS as "File::Copy::rmscopy", which
       is the routine that does the actual work for syscopy).

           The first and second arguments may be strings, typeglobs, typeglob
           references, or objects inheriting from IO::Handle; they are used in
           all cases to obtain the filespec of the input and output files,
           respectively.  The name and type of the input file are used as
           defaults for the output file, if necessary.

           A new version of the output file is always created, which inherits
           the structure and RMS attributes of the input file, except for
           owner and protections (and possibly timestamps; see below).  All
           data from the input file is copied to the output file; if either of
           the first two parameters to "rmscopy" is a file handle, its posi-
           tion is unchanged.  (Note that this means a file handle pointing to
           the output file will be associated with an old version of that file
           after "rmscopy" returns, not the newly created version.)

           The third parameter is an integer flag, which tells "rmscopy" how
           to handle timestamps.  If it is < 0, none of the input file's
           timestamps are propagated to the output file.  If it is > 0, then
           it is interpreted as a bitmask: if bit 0 (the LSB) is set, then
           timestamps other than the revision date are propagated; if bit 1 is
           set, the revision date is propagated.  If the third parameter to
           "rmscopy" is 0, then it behaves much like the DCL COPY command: if
           the name or type of the output file was explicitly specified, then
           no timestamps are propagated, but if they were taken implicitly
           from the input filespec, then all timestamps other than the revi-
           sion date are propagated.  If this parameter is not supplied, it
           defaults to 0.

           Like "copy", "rmscopy" returns 1 on success.  If an error occurs,
           it sets $!, deletes the output file, and returns 0.

       All functions return 1 on success, 0 on failure.  $! will be set if an
       error was encountered.

       o   On Mac OS (Classic), the path separator is ':', not '/', and the
           current directory is denoted as ':', not '.'. You should be careful
           about specifying relative pathnames. While a full path always
           begins with a volume name, a relative pathname should always begin
           with a ':'.  If specifying a volume name only, a trailing ':' is


             copy("file1", "tmp");        # creates the file 'tmp' in the current directory
             copy("file1", ":tmp:");      # creates :tmp:file1
             copy("file1", ":tmp");       # same as above
             copy("file1", "tmp");        # same as above, if 'tmp' is a directory (but don't do
                                          # that, since it may cause confusion, see example #1)
             copy("file1", "tmp:file1");  # error, since 'tmp:' is not a volume
             copy("file1", ":tmp:file1"); # ok, partial path
             copy("file1", "DataHD:");    # creates DataHD:file1

             move("MacintoshHD:fileA", "DataHD:fileB"); # moves (don't copies) files from one
                                                        # volume to another

       File::Copy was written by Aaron Sherman <> in 1995, and
       updated by Charles Bailey <> in 1996.

perl v5.8.6                       2001-09-21                     File::Copy(3)