Class

A File is an abstraction of any file object accessible by the program and is closely associated with class IO. File includes the methods of module FileTest as class methods, allowing you to write (for example) File.exist?("foo").

In the description of File methods, permission bits are a platform-specific set of bits that indicate permissions of a file. On Unix-based systems, permissions are viewed as a set of three octets, for the owner, the group, and the rest of the world. For each of these entities, permissions may be set to read, write, or execute the file:

The permission bits 0644 (in octal) would thus be interpreted as read/write for owner, and read-only for group and other. Higher-order bits may also be used to indicate the type of file (plain, directory, pipe, socket, and so on) and various other special features. If the permissions are for a directory, the meaning of the execute bit changes; when set the directory can be searched.

On non-Posix operating systems, there may be only the ability to make a file read-only or read-write. In this case, the remaining permission bits will be synthesized to resemble typical values. For instance, on Windows NT the default permission bits are 0644, which means read/write for owner, read-only for all others. The only change that can be made is to make the file read-only, which is reported as 0444.

Various constants for the methods in File can be found in File::Constants.


Converts a pathname to an absolute pathname. Relative paths are referenced from the current working directory of the process unless dir_string is given, in which case it will be used as the starting point. If the given pathname starts with a “~'' it is NOT expanded, it is treated as a normal directory name.

File.absolute_path("~oracle/bin")       #=> "<relative_path>/~oracle/bin"

Returns the last access time for the named file as a Time object.

file_name can be an IO object.

File.atime("testfile")   #=> Wed Apr 09 08:51:48 CDT 2003

Returns the last component of the filename given in file_name (after first stripping trailing separators), which can be formed using both File::SEPARATOR and File::ALT_SEPARATOR as the separator when File::ALT_SEPARATOR is not nil. If suffix is given and present at the end of file_name, it is removed. If suffix is “.*”, any extension will be removed.

File.basename("/home/gumby/work/ruby.rb")          #=> "ruby.rb"
File.basename("/home/gumby/work/ruby.rb", ".rb")   #=> "ruby"
File.basename("/home/gumby/work/ruby.rb", ".*")    #=> "ruby"

Returns the birth time for the named file.

file_name can be an IO object.

File.birthtime("testfile")   #=> Wed Apr 09 08:53:13 CDT 2003

If the platform doesn't have birthtime, raises NotImplementedError.

Returns true if the named file is a block device.

file_name can be an IO object.

Returns true if the named file is a character device.

file_name can be an IO object.

Changes permission bits on the named file(s) to the bit pattern represented by mode_int. Actual effects are operating system dependent (see the beginning of this section). On Unix systems, see chmod(2) for details. Returns the number of files processed.

File.chmod(0644, "testfile", "out")   #=> 2

Changes the owner and group of the named file(s) to the given numeric owner and group id's. Only a process with superuser privileges may change the owner of a file. The current owner of a file may change the file's group to any group to which the owner belongs. A nil or -1 owner or group id is ignored. Returns the number of files processed.

File.chown(nil, 100, "testfile")

Returns the change time for the named file (the time at which directory information about the file was changed, not the file itself).

file_name can be an IO object.

Note that on Windows (NTFS), returns creation time (birth time).

File.ctime("testfile")   #=> Wed Apr 09 08:53:13 CDT 2003

Deletes the named files, returning the number of names passed as arguments. Raises an exception on any error. Since the underlying implementation relies on the unlink(2) system call, the type of exception raised depends on its error type (see linux.die.net/man/2/unlink) and has the form of e.g. Errno::ENOENT.

See also Dir::rmdir.

Returns true if the named file is a directory, or a symlink that points at a directory, and false otherwise.

file_name can be an IO object.

File.directory?(".")

Returns all components of the filename given in file_name except the last one (after first stripping trailing separators). The filename can be formed using both File::SEPARATOR and File::ALT_SEPARATOR as the separator when File::ALT_SEPARATOR is not nil.

File.dirname("/home/gumby/work/ruby.rb")   #=> "/home/gumby/work"

Returns true if the named file exists and has a zero size.

file_name can be an IO object.

Returns true if the named file is executable by the effective user and group id of this process. See eaccess(3).

Returns true if the named file is executable by the real user and group id of this process. See access(3).

Return true if the named file exists.

file_name can be an IO object.

“file exists” means that stat() or fstat() system call is successful.

Deprecated method. Don't use.

Converts a pathname to an absolute pathname. Relative paths are referenced from the current working directory of the process unless dir_string is given, in which case it will be used as the starting point. The given pathname may start with a “~'', which expands to the process owner's home directory (the environment variable HOME must be set correctly). “~user'' expands to the named user's home directory.

File.expand_path("~oracle/bin")           #=> "/home/oracle/bin"

A simple example of using dir_string is as follows.

File.expand_path("ruby", "/usr/bin")      #=> "/usr/bin/ruby"

A more complex example which also resolves parent directory is as follows. Suppose we are in bin/mygem and want the absolute path of lib/mygem.rb.

File.expand_path("../../lib/mygem.rb", __FILE__)
#=> ".../path/to/project/lib/mygem.rb"

So first it resolves the parent of __FILE__, that is bin/, then go to the parent, the root of the project and appends lib/mygem.rb.

Returns the extension (the portion of file name in path starting from the last period).

If path is a dotfile, or starts with a period, then the starting dot is not dealt with the start of the extension.

An empty string will also be returned when the period is the last character in path.

File.extname("test.rb")         #=> ".rb"
File.extname("a/b/d/test.rb")   #=> ".rb"
File.extname(".a/b/d/test.rb")  #=> ".rb"
File.extname("foo.")            #=> ""
File.extname("test")            #=> ""
File.extname(".profile")        #=> ""
File.extname(".profile.sh")     #=> ".sh"

Returns true if the named file exists and is a regular file.

file can be an IO object.

If the file argument is a symbolic link, it will resolve the symbolic link and use the file referenced by the link.

Locks or unlocks a file according to locking_constant (a logical or of the values in the table below). Returns false if File::LOCK_NB is specified and the operation would otherwise have blocked. Not available on all platforms.

Locking constants (in class File):

LOCK_EX   | Exclusive lock. Only one process may hold an
          | exclusive lock for a given file at a time.
----------+------------------------------------------------
LOCK_NB   | Don't block when locking. May be combined
          | with other lock options using logical or.
----------+------------------------------------------------
LOCK_SH   | Shared lock. Multiple processes may each hold a
          | shared lock for a given file at the same time.
----------+------------------------------------------------
LOCK_UN   | Unlock.

Example:

# update a counter using write lock
# don't use "w" because it truncates the file before lock.
File.open("counter", File::RDWR|File::CREAT, 0644) {|f|
  f.flock(File::LOCK_EX)
  value = f.read.to_i + 1
  f.rewind
  f.write("#{value}\n")
  f.flush
  f.truncate(f.pos)
}

# read the counter using read lock
File.open("counter", "r") {|f|
  f.flock(File::LOCK_SH)
  p f.read
}

Returns true if path matches against pattern. The pattern is not a regular expression; instead it follows rules similar to shell filename globbing. It may contain the following metacharacters:

*

Matches any file. Can be restricted by other values in the glob. Equivalent to / .* /x in regexp.

*

Matches all files regular files

c*

Matches all files beginning with c

*c

Matches all files ending with c

*c*

Matches all files that have c in them (including at the beginning or end).

To match hidden files (that start with a . set the File::FNM_DOTMATCH flag.

**

Matches directories recursively or files expansively.

?

Matches any one character. Equivalent to /.{1}/ in regexp.

[set]

Matches any one character in set. Behaves exactly like character sets in Regexp, including set negation ([^a-z]).

\

Escapes the next metacharacter.

{a,b}

Matches pattern a and pattern b if File::FNM_EXTGLOB flag is enabled. Behaves like a Regexp union ((?:a|b)).

flags is a bitwise OR of the FNM_XXX constants. The same glob pattern and flags are used by Dir::glob.

Examples:

File.fnmatch('cat',       'cat')        #=> true  # match entire string
File.fnmatch('cat',       'category')   #=> false # only match partial string

File.fnmatch('c{at,ub}s', 'cats')                    #=> false # { } isn't supported by default
File.fnmatch('c{at,ub}s', 'cats', File::FNM_EXTGLOB) #=> true  # { } is supported on FNM_EXTGLOB

File.fnmatch('c?t',     'cat')          #=> true  # '?' match only 1 character
File.fnmatch('c??t',    'cat')          #=> false # ditto
File.fnmatch('c*',      'cats')         #=> true  # '*' match 0 or more characters
File.fnmatch('c*t',     'c/a/b/t')      #=> true  # ditto
File.fnmatch('ca[a-z]', 'cat')          #=> true  # inclusive bracket expression
File.fnmatch('ca[^t]',  'cat')          #=> false # exclusive bracket expression ('^' or '!')

File.fnmatch('cat', 'CAT')                     #=> false # case sensitive
File.fnmatch('cat', 'CAT', File::FNM_CASEFOLD) #=> true  # case insensitive

File.fnmatch('?',   '/', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> false # wildcard doesn't match '/' on FNM_PATHNAME
File.fnmatch('*',   '/', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> false # ditto
File.fnmatch('[/]', '/', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> false # ditto

File.fnmatch('\?',   '?')                       #=> true  # escaped wildcard becomes ordinary
File.fnmatch('\a',   'a')                       #=> true  # escaped ordinary remains ordinary
File.fnmatch('\a',   '\a', File::FNM_NOESCAPE)  #=> true  # FNM_NOESCAPE makes '\' ordinary
File.fnmatch('[\?]', '?')                       #=> true  # can escape inside bracket expression

File.fnmatch('*',   '.profile')                      #=> false # wildcard doesn't match leading
File.fnmatch('*',   '.profile', File::FNM_DOTMATCH)  #=> true  # period by default.
File.fnmatch('.*',  '.profile')                      #=> true

rbfiles = '**' '/' '*.rb' # you don't have to do like this. just write in single string.
File.fnmatch(rbfiles, 'main.rb')                    #=> false
File.fnmatch(rbfiles, './main.rb')                  #=> false
File.fnmatch(rbfiles, 'lib/song.rb')                #=> true
File.fnmatch('**.rb', 'main.rb')                    #=> true
File.fnmatch('**.rb', './main.rb')                  #=> false
File.fnmatch('**.rb', 'lib/song.rb')                #=> true
File.fnmatch('*',           'dave/.profile')                      #=> true

pattern = '*' '/' '*'
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'dave/.profile', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> false
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'dave/.profile', File::FNM_PATHNAME | File::FNM_DOTMATCH) #=> true

pattern = '**' '/' 'foo'
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'a/b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME)     #=> true
File.fnmatch(pattern, '/a/b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME)    #=> true
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'c:/a/b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> true
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'a/.b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME)    #=> false
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'a/.b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME | File::FNM_DOTMATCH) #=> true

Returns true if path matches against pattern. The pattern is not a regular expression; instead it follows rules similar to shell filename globbing. It may contain the following metacharacters:

*

Matches any file. Can be restricted by other values in the glob. Equivalent to / .* /x in regexp.

*

Matches all files regular files

c*

Matches all files beginning with c

*c

Matches all files ending with c

*c*

Matches all files that have c in them (including at the beginning or end).

To match hidden files (that start with a . set the File::FNM_DOTMATCH flag.

**

Matches directories recursively or files expansively.

?

Matches any one character. Equivalent to /.{1}/ in regexp.

[set]

Matches any one character in set. Behaves exactly like character sets in Regexp, including set negation ([^a-z]).

\

Escapes the next metacharacter.

{a,b}

Matches pattern a and pattern b if File::FNM_EXTGLOB flag is enabled. Behaves like a Regexp union ((?:a|b)).

flags is a bitwise OR of the FNM_XXX constants. The same glob pattern and flags are used by Dir::glob.

Examples:

File.fnmatch('cat',       'cat')        #=> true  # match entire string
File.fnmatch('cat',       'category')   #=> false # only match partial string

File.fnmatch('c{at,ub}s', 'cats')                    #=> false # { } isn't supported by default
File.fnmatch('c{at,ub}s', 'cats', File::FNM_EXTGLOB) #=> true  # { } is supported on FNM_EXTGLOB

File.fnmatch('c?t',     'cat')          #=> true  # '?' match only 1 character
File.fnmatch('c??t',    'cat')          #=> false # ditto
File.fnmatch('c*',      'cats')         #=> true  # '*' match 0 or more characters
File.fnmatch('c*t',     'c/a/b/t')      #=> true  # ditto
File.fnmatch('ca[a-z]', 'cat')          #=> true  # inclusive bracket expression
File.fnmatch('ca[^t]',  'cat')          #=> false # exclusive bracket expression ('^' or '!')

File.fnmatch('cat', 'CAT')                     #=> false # case sensitive
File.fnmatch('cat', 'CAT', File::FNM_CASEFOLD) #=> true  # case insensitive

File.fnmatch('?',   '/', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> false # wildcard doesn't match '/' on FNM_PATHNAME
File.fnmatch('*',   '/', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> false # ditto
File.fnmatch('[/]', '/', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> false # ditto

File.fnmatch('\?',   '?')                       #=> true  # escaped wildcard becomes ordinary
File.fnmatch('\a',   'a')                       #=> true  # escaped ordinary remains ordinary
File.fnmatch('\a',   '\a', File::FNM_NOESCAPE)  #=> true  # FNM_NOESCAPE makes '\' ordinary
File.fnmatch('[\?]', '?')                       #=> true  # can escape inside bracket expression

File.fnmatch('*',   '.profile')                      #=> false # wildcard doesn't match leading
File.fnmatch('*',   '.profile', File::FNM_DOTMATCH)  #=> true  # period by default.
File.fnmatch('.*',  '.profile')                      #=> true

rbfiles = '**' '/' '*.rb' # you don't have to do like this. just write in single string.
File.fnmatch(rbfiles, 'main.rb')                    #=> false
File.fnmatch(rbfiles, './main.rb')                  #=> false
File.fnmatch(rbfiles, 'lib/song.rb')                #=> true
File.fnmatch('**.rb', 'main.rb')                    #=> true
File.fnmatch('**.rb', './main.rb')                  #=> false
File.fnmatch('**.rb', 'lib/song.rb')                #=> true
File.fnmatch('*',           'dave/.profile')                      #=> true

pattern = '*' '/' '*'
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'dave/.profile', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> false
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'dave/.profile', File::FNM_PATHNAME | File::FNM_DOTMATCH) #=> true

pattern = '**' '/' 'foo'
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'a/b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME)     #=> true
File.fnmatch(pattern, '/a/b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME)    #=> true
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'c:/a/b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME)  #=> true
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'a/.b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME)    #=> false
File.fnmatch(pattern, 'a/.b/c/foo', File::FNM_PATHNAME | File::FNM_DOTMATCH) #=> true

Identifies the type of the named file; the return string is one of “file'', “directory'', “characterSpecial'', “blockSpecial'', “fifo'', “link'', “socket'', or “unknown''.

File.ftype("testfile")            #=> "file"
File.ftype("/dev/tty")            #=> "characterSpecial"
File.ftype("/tmp/.X11-unix/X0")   #=> "socket"

Returns true if the named file exists and the effective group id of the calling process is the owner of the file. Returns false on Windows.

file_name can be an IO object.

Returns true if the named files are identical.

file_1 and file_2 can be an IO object.

open("a", "w") {}
p File.identical?("a", "a")      #=> true
p File.identical?("a", "./a")    #=> true
File.link("a", "b")
p File.identical?("a", "b")      #=> true
File.symlink("a", "c")
p File.identical?("a", "c")      #=> true
open("d", "w") {}
p File.identical?("a", "d")      #=> false

Returns a new string formed by joining the strings using "/".

File.join("usr", "mail", "gumby")   #=> "usr/mail/gumby"

Equivalent to File::chmod, but does not follow symbolic links (so it will change the permissions associated with the link, not the file referenced by the link). Often not available.

Equivalent to File::chown, but does not follow symbolic links (so it will change the owner associated with the link, not the file referenced by the link). Often not available. Returns number of files in the argument list.

Creates a new name for an existing file using a hard link. Will not overwrite new_name if it already exists (raising a subclass of SystemCallError). Not available on all platforms.

File.link("testfile", ".testfile")   #=> 0
IO.readlines(".testfile")[0]         #=> "This is line one\n"

Same as File::stat, but does not follow the last symbolic link. Instead, reports on the link itself.

File.symlink("testfile", "link2test")   #=> 0
File.stat("testfile").size              #=> 66
File.lstat("link2test").size            #=> 8
File.stat("link2test").size             #=> 66

Sets the access and modification times of each named file to the first two arguments. If a file is a symlink, this method acts upon the link itself as opposed to its referent; for the inverse behavior, see File.utime. Returns the number of file names in the argument list.

Creates a FIFO special file with name file_name. mode specifies the FIFO's permissions. It is modified by the process's umask in the usual way: the permissions of the created file are (mode & ~umask).

Returns the modification time for the named file as a Time object.

file_name can be an IO object.

File.mtime("testfile")   #=> Tue Apr 08 12:58:04 CDT 2003

Opens the file named by filename according to the given mode and returns a new File object.

See IO.new for a description of mode and opt.

If a file is being created, permission bits may be given in perm. These mode and permission bits are platform dependent; on Unix systems, see open(2) and chmod(2) man pages for details.

The new File object is buffered mode (or non-sync mode), unless filename is a tty. See IO#flush, IO#fsync, IO#fdatasync, and IO#sync= about sync mode.

Examples

f = File.new("testfile", "r")
f = File.new("newfile",  "w+")
f = File.new("newfile", File::CREAT|File::TRUNC|File::RDWR, 0644)

With no associated block, File.open is a synonym for File.new. If the optional code block is given, it will be passed the opened file as an argument and the File object will automatically be closed when the block terminates. The value of the block will be returned from File.open.

If a file is being created, its initial permissions may be set using the perm parameter. See File.new for further discussion.

See IO.new for a description of the mode and opt parameters.

Returns true if the named file exists and the effective used id of the calling process is the owner of the file.

file_name can be an IO object.

Returns the string representation of the path

File.path("/dev/null")          #=> "/dev/null"
File.path(Pathname.new("/tmp")) #=> "/tmp"

Returns true if the named file is a pipe.

file_name can be an IO object.

Returns true if the named file is readable by the effective user and group id of this process. See eaccess(3).

Returns true if the named file is readable by the real user and group id of this process. See access(3).

Returns the name of the file referenced by the given link. Not available on all platforms.

File.symlink("testfile", "link2test")   #=> 0
File.readlink("link2test")              #=> "testfile"

Returns the real (absolute) pathname of pathname in the actual filesystem. The real pathname doesn't contain symlinks or useless dots.

If dir_string is given, it is used as a base directory for interpreting relative pathname instead of the current directory.

The last component of the real pathname can be nonexistent.

Returns the real (absolute) pathname of pathname in the actual filesystem not containing symlinks or useless dots.

If dir_string is given, it is used as a base directory for interpreting relative pathname instead of the current directory.

All components of the pathname must exist when this method is called.

Renames the given file to the new name. Raises a SystemCallError if the file cannot be renamed.

File.rename("afile", "afile.bak")   #=> 0

Returns true if the named file has the setgid bit set.

file_name can be an IO object.

Returns true if the named file has the setuid bit set.

file_name can be an IO object.

Returns the size of file in bytes.

File.new("testfile").size   #=> 66

Returns nil if file_name doesn't exist or has zero size, the size of the file otherwise.

file_name can be an IO object.

Returns true if the named file is a socket.

file_name can be an IO object.

Splits the given string into a directory and a file component and returns them in a two-element array. See also File::dirname and File::basename.

File.split("/home/gumby/.profile")   #=> ["/home/gumby", ".profile"]

Returns a File::Stat object for the named file (see File::Stat).

File.stat("testfile").mtime   #=> Tue Apr 08 12:58:04 CDT 2003

Returns true if the named file has the sticky bit set.

file_name can be an IO object.

Creates a symbolic link called new_name for the existing file old_name. Raises a NotImplemented exception on platforms that do not support symbolic links.

File.symlink("testfile", "link2test")   #=> 0

Returns true if the named file is a symbolic link.

Returns the pathname used to create file as a string. Does not normalize the name.

The pathname may not point to the file corresponding to file. For instance, the pathname becomes void when the file has been moved or deleted.

This method raises IOError for a file created using File::Constants::TMPFILE because they don't have a pathname.

File.new("testfile").path               #=> "testfile"
File.new("/tmp/../tmp/xxx", "w").path   #=> "/tmp/../tmp/xxx"

Truncates the file file_name to be at most integer bytes long. Not available on all platforms.

f = File.new("out", "w")
f.write("1234567890")     #=> 10
f.close                   #=> nil
File.truncate("out", 5)   #=> 0
File.size("out")          #=> 5

Returns the current umask value for this process. If the optional argument is given, set the umask to that value and return the previous value. Umask values are subtracted from the default permissions, so a umask of 0222 would make a file read-only for everyone.

File.umask(0006)   #=> 18
File.umask         #=> 6

Deletes the named files, returning the number of names passed as arguments. Raises an exception on any error. Since the underlying implementation relies on the unlink(2) system call, the type of exception raised depends on its error type (see linux.die.net/man/2/unlink) and has the form of e.g. Errno::ENOENT.

See also Dir::rmdir.

Sets the access and modification times of each named file to the first two arguments. If a file is a symlink, this method acts upon its referent rather than the link itself; for the inverse behavior see File.lutime. Returns the number of file names in the argument list.

If file_name is readable by others, returns an integer representing the file permission bits of file_name. Returns nil otherwise. The meaning of the bits is platform dependent; on Unix systems, see stat(2).

file_name can be an IO object.

File.world_readable?("/etc/passwd")           #=> 420
m = File.world_readable?("/etc/passwd")
sprintf("%o", m)                              #=> "644"

If file_name is writable by others, returns an integer representing the file permission bits of file_name. Returns nil otherwise. The meaning of the bits is platform dependent; on Unix systems, see stat(2).

file_name can be an IO object.

File.world_writable?("/tmp")                  #=> 511
m = File.world_writable?("/tmp")
sprintf("%o", m)                              #=> "777"

Returns true if the named file is writable by the effective user and group id of this process. See eaccess(3).

Returns true if the named file is writable by the real user and group id of this process. See access(3)

Returns true if the named file exists and has a zero size.

file_name can be an IO object.