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

       File::Find - Traverse a directory tree.

           use File::Find;
           find(\&wanted, @directories_to_search);
           sub wanted { ... }

           use File::Find;
           finddepth(\&wanted, @directories_to_search);
           sub wanted { ... }

           use File::Find;
           find({ wanted => \&process, follow => 1 }, '.');

       These are functions for searching through directory trees doing work on
       each file found similar to the Unix find command.  File::Find exports
       two functions, "find" and "finddepth".  They work similarly but have
       subtle differences.

             find(\&wanted,  @directories);
             find(\%options, @directories);

           "find()" does a depth-first search over the given @directories in
           the order they are given.  For each file or directory found, it
           calls the &wanted subroutine.  (See below for details on how to use
           the &wanted function).  Additionally, for each directory found, it
           will "chdir()" into that directory and continue the search, invok-
           ing the &wanted function on each file or subdirectory in the direc-

             finddepth(\&wanted,  @directories);
             finddepth(\%options, @directories);

           "finddepth()" works just like "find()" except that is invokes the
           &wanted function for a directory after invoking it for the direc-
           tory's contents.  It does a postorder traversal instead of a pre-
           order traversal, working from the bottom of the directory tree up
           where "find()" works from the top of the tree down.


       The first argument to "find()" is either a code reference to your
       &wanted function, or a hash reference describing the operations to be
       performed for each file.  The code reference is described in "The
       wanted function" below.

       Here are the possible keys for the hash:

          The value should be a code reference.  This code reference is
          described in "The wanted function" below.

          Reports the name of a directory only AFTER all its entries have been
          reported.  Entry point "finddepth()" is a shortcut for specifying
          "<{ bydepth =" 1 }>> in the first argument of "find()".

          The value should be a code reference. This code reference is used to
          preprocess the current directory. The name of the currently
          processed directory is in $File::Find::dir. Your preprocessing func-
          tion is called after "readdir()", but before the loop that calls the
          "wanted()" function. It is called with a list of strings (actually
          file/directory names) and is expected to return a list of strings.
          The code can be used to sort the file/directory names alphabeti-
          cally, numerically, or to filter out directory entries based on
          their name alone. When follow or follow_fast are in effect, "prepro-
          cess" is a no-op.

          The value should be a code reference. It is invoked just before
          leaving the currently processed directory. It is called in void con-
          text with no arguments. The name of the current directory is in
          $File::Find::dir. This hook is handy for summarizing a directory,
          such as calculating its disk usage. When follow or follow_fast are
          in effect, "postprocess" is a no-op.

          Causes symbolic links to be followed. Since directory trees with
          symbolic links (followed) may contain files more than once and may
          even have cycles, a hash has to be built up with an entry for each
          file.  This might be expensive both in space and time for a large
          directory tree. See follow_fast and follow_skip below.  If either
          follow or follow_fast is in effect:

          *     It is guaranteed that an lstat has been called before the
                user's "wanted()" function is called. This enables fast file
                checks involving  _.

          *     There is a variable $File::Find::fullname which holds the
                absolute pathname of the file with all symbolic links resolved

          This is similar to follow except that it may report some files more
          than once.  It does detect cycles, however.  Since only symbolic
          links have to be hashed, this is much cheaper both in space and
          time.  If processing a file more than once (by the user's "wanted()"
          function) is worse than just taking time, the option follow should
          be used.

          "follow_skip==1", which is the default, causes all files which are
          neither directories nor symbolic links to be ignored if they are
          about to be processed a second time. If a directory or a symbolic
          link are about to be processed a second time, File::Find dies.

          "follow_skip==0" causes File::Find to die if any file is about to be
          processed a second time.

          "follow_skip==2" causes File::Find to ignore any duplicate files and
          directories but to proceed normally otherwise.

          If true and a code reference, will be called with the symbolic link
          name and the directory it lives in as arguments.  Otherwise, if true
          and warnings are on, warning "symbolic_link_name is a dangling sym-
          bolic link\n" will be issued.  If false, the dangling symbolic link
          will be silently ignored.

          Does not "chdir()" to each directory as it recurses. The "wanted()"
          function will need to be aware of this, of course. In this case, $_
          will be the same as $File::Find::name.

          If find is used in taint-mode (-T command line switch or if EUID !=
          UID or if EGID != GID) then internally directory names have to be
          untainted before they can be chdir'ed to. Therefore they are checked
          against a regular expression untaint_pattern.  Note that all names
          passed to the user's wanted() function are still tainted. If this
          option is used while not in taint-mode, "untaint" is a no-op.

          See above. This should be set using the "qr" quoting operator.  The
          default is set to  "qr|^([-+@\w./]+)$|".  Note that the parentheses
          are vital.

          If set, a directory which fails the untaint_pattern is skipped,
          including all its sub-directories. The default is to 'die' in such a

       The wanted function

       The "wanted()" function does whatever verifications you want on each
       file and directory.  Note that despite its name, the "wanted()" func-
       tion is a generic callback function, and does not tell File::Find if a
       file is "wanted" or not.  In fact, its return value is ignored.

       The wanted function takes no arguments but rather does its work through
       a collection of variables.

       $File::Find::dir is the current directory name,
       $_ is the current filename within that directory
       $File::Find::name is the complete pathname to the file.

       Don't modify these variables.

       For example, when examining the file /some/path/foo.ext you will have:

           $File::Find::dir  = /some/path/
           $_                = foo.ext
           $File::Find::name = /some/path/foo.ext

       You are chdir()'d to$File::Find::dir when the function is called,
       unless "no_chdir" was specified. Note that when changing to directories
       is in effect the root directory (/) is a somewhat special case inasmuch
       as the concatenation of $File::Find::dir, '/' and $_ is not literally
       equal to $File::Find::name. The table below summarizes all variants:

                     $File::Find::name  $File::Find::dir  $_
        default      /                  /                 .
        no_chdir=>0  /etc               /                 etc
                     /etc/x             /etc              x

        no_chdir=>1  /                  /                 /
                     /etc               /                 /etc
                     /etc/x             /etc              /etc/x

       When <follow> or <follow_fast> are in effect, there is also a
       $File::Find::fullname.  The function may set $File::Find::prune to
       prune the tree unless "bydepth" was specified.  Unless "follow" or
       "follow_fast" is specified, for compatibility reasons (,
       find2perl) there are in addition the following globals available:
       $File::Find::topdir, $File::Find::topdev, $File::Find::topino,
       $File::Find::topmode and $File::Find::topnlink.

       This library is useful for the "find2perl" tool, which when fed,

           find2perl / -name .nfs\* -mtime +7 \
               -exec rm -f {} \; -o -fstype nfs -prune

       produces something like:

           sub wanted {
               /^\.nfs.*\z/s &&
               (($dev, $ino, $mode, $nlink, $uid, $gid) = lstat($_)) &&
               int(-M _) > 7 &&
               ($nlink || (($dev, $ino, $mode, $nlink, $uid, $gid) = lstat($_))) &&
               $dev < 0 &&
               ($File::Find::prune = 1);

       Notice the "_" in the above "int(-M _)": the "_" is a magical filehan-
       dle that caches the information from the preceding "stat()", "lstat()",
       or filetest.

       Here's another interesting wanted function.  It will find all symbolic
       links that don't resolve:

           sub wanted {
                -l && !-e && print "bogus link: $File::Find::name\n";

       See also the script "pfind" on CPAN for a nice application of this mod-

       If you run your program with the "-w" switch, or if you use the "warn-
       ings" pragma, File::Find will report warnings for several weird situa-
       tions. You can disable these warnings by putting the statement

           no warnings 'File::Find';

       in the appropriate scope. See perllexwarn for more info about lexical

         You can set the variable $File::Find::dont_use_nlink to 1, if you
         want to force File::Find to always stat directories. This was used
         for file systems that do not have an "nlink" count matching the num-
         ber of sub-directories.  Examples are ISO-9660 (CD-ROM), AFS, HPFS
         (OS/2 file system), FAT (DOS file system) and a couple of others.

         You shouldn't need to set this variable, since File::Find should now
         detect such file systems on-the-fly and switch itself to using stat.
         This works even for parts of your file system, like a mounted CD-ROM.

         If you do set $File::Find::dont_use_nlink to 1, you will notice

         Be aware that the option to follow symbolic links can be dangerous.
         Depending on the structure of the directory tree (including symbolic
         links to directories) you might traverse a given (physical) directory
         more than once (only if "follow_fast" is in effect).  Furthermore,
         deleting or changing files in a symbolically linked directory might
         cause very unpleasant surprises, since you delete or change files in
         an unknown directory.

       o   Mac OS (Classic) users should note a few differences:

           o   The path separator is ':', not '/', and the current directory
               is denoted as ':', not '.'. You should be careful about speci-
               fying 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

           o   $File::Find::dir is guaranteed to end with a ':'. If $_ con-
               tains the name of a directory, that name may or may not end
               with a ':'. Likewise, $File::Find::name, which contains the
               complete pathname to that directory, and $File::Find::fullname,
               which holds the absolute pathname of that directory with all
               symbolic links resolved, may or may not end with a ':'.

           o   The default "untaint_pattern" (see above) on Mac OS is set to
               "qr|^(.+)$|". Note that the parentheses are vital.

           o   The invisible system file "Icon\015" is ignored. While this
               file may appear in every directory, there are some more invisi-
               ble system files on every volume, which are all located at the
               volume root level (i.e.  "MacintoshHD:"). These system files
               are not excluded automatically.  Your filter may use the fol-
               lowing code to recognize invisible files or directories
               (requires Mac::Files):

                use Mac::Files;

                # invisible() --  returns 1 if file/directory is invisible,
                # 0 if it's visible or undef if an error occurred

                sub invisible($) {
                  my $file = shift;
                  my ($fileCat, $fileInfo);
                  my $invisible_flag =  1 << 14;

                  if ( $fileCat = FSpGetCatInfo($file) ) {
                    if ($fileInfo = $fileCat->ioFlFndrInfo() ) {
                      return (($fileInfo->fdFlags & $invisible_flag) && 1);
                  return undef;

               Generally, invisible files are system files, unless an odd
               application decides to use invisible files for its own pur-
               poses. To distinguish such files from system files, you have to
               look at the type and creator file attributes. The MacPerl
               built-in functions "GetFileInfo(FILE)" and "SetFileInfo(CRE-
               ATOR, TYPE, FILES)" offer access to these attributes (see
      for details).

               Files that appear on the desktop actually reside in an (hidden)
               directory named "Desktop Folder" on the particular disk volume.
               Note that, although all desktop files appear to be on the same
               "virtual" desktop, each disk volume actually maintains its own
               "Desktop Folder" directory.

       Despite the name of the "finddepth()" function, both "find()" and
       "finddepth()" perform a depth-first search of the directory hierarchy.

       File::Find used to produce incorrect results if called recursively.
       During the development of perl 5.8 this bug was fixed.  The first fixed
       version of File::Find was 1.01.

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