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Manual Reference Pages  -  FILE::FINDER::STEPS (3)

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File::Finder::Steps - steps for File::Finder



  ## See File::Finder for normal use of steps

  ## subclassing example:
    package My::File::Finder;
    use base File::Finder;

    sub _steps_class { "My::File::Finder::Steps" }
    package My::File::Finder::Steps;
    use base File::Finder::Steps;

    sub bigger_than { # true if bigger than N bytes
      my $self = shift;
      my $bytes = shift;
      return sub {
        -s > $bytes;

  my $over_1k = My::File::Finder->bigger_than(1024);
  print "Temp files over 1k:\n";


File::Finder::Steps provide the predicates being tested for File::Finder.


These methods are called on a class or instance to add a step. Each step adds itself to a list of steps, returning the new object. This allows you to chain steps together to form a formula.

As in find, the default operator is and, and short-circuiting is performed.
or Like find’s or.
left Like a left parenthesis. Used in nesting pairs with right.
right Like a right parenthesis. Used in nesting pairs with left. For example:

  my $big_or_old = File::Finder
  find($big_or_old->ls, "/tmp");

You need parens because the or operator is lower precedence than the implied and, for the same reason you need them here:

  find /tmp -type f ( -size +100 -o -mtime +90 ) -print

Without the parens, the -type would bind to -size, and not to the choice of -size or -mtime.

Mismatched parens will not be found until the formula is used, causing a fatal error.

begin Alias for left.
end Alias for right.
not Like find’s !. Prefix operator, can be placed in front of individual terms or open parens. Can be nested, but what’s the point?

  # list all non-files in /tmp

true Always returns true. Useful when a subexpression might fail, but you don’t want the overall code to fail:

  ... ->left-> ...[might return false]... ->or->true->right-> ...

Of course, this is the find command’s idiom of:

   find .... ( .... -o -true ) ...

false Always returns false.
comma Like GNU find’s ,. The result of the expression (or subexpression if in parens) up to this point is discarded, and execution continues afresh. Useful when a part of the expression is needed for its side effects, but shouldn’t affect the rest of the and-ed chain.

  # list all files and dirs, but dont descend into CVS dir contents:

follow Enables symlink following, and returns true.
name(NAME) True if basename matches NAME, which can be given as a glob pattern or a regular expression object:

  my $pm_files = File::Finder->name(*.pm)->in(.);
  my $pm_files_too = File::Finder->name(qr/pm$/)->in(.);

perm(PERMISSION) Like find’s -perm. Leading - means all of these bits. Leading + means any of these bits. Value is de-octalized if a leading 0 is present, which is likely only if it’s being passed as a string.

  my $files = File::Finder->type(f);
  # find files that are exactly mode 644
  my $files_644 = $files->perm(0644);
  # find files that are at least world executable:
  my $files_world_exec = $files->perm("-1");
  # find files that have some executable bit set:
  my $files_exec = $files->perm("+0111");

type(TYPE) Like find’s -type. All native Perl types are supported. Note that s is a socket, mapping to Perl’s -S, to be consistent with find. Returns true or false, as appropriate.
print Prints the fullname to STDOUT, followed by a newline. Returns true.
print0 Prints the fullname to STDOUT, followed by a NUL. Returns true.
fstype Not implemented yet.
user(USERNAME|UID) True if the owner is USERNAME or UID.
group(GROUPNAME|GID) True if the group is GROUPNAME or GID.
nouser True if the entry doesn’t belong to any known user.
nogroup True if the entry doesn’t belong to any known group.
links( +/- N ) Like find’s -links N. Leading plus means more than, minus means less than.
inum( +/- N ) True if the inode number meets the qualification.
size( +/- N [c/k]) True if the file size meets the qualification. By default, N is in half-K blocks. Append a trailing k to the number to indicate 1K blocks, or c to indicate characters (bytes).
atime( +/- N ) True if access time (in days) meets the qualification.
mtime( +/- N ) True if modification time (in days) meets the qualification.
ctime( +/- N ) True if inode change time (in days) meets the qualification.
exec(@COMMAND) Forks the child process via system(). Any appearance of {} in any argument is replaced by the current filename. Returns true if the child exit status is 0. The list is passed directly to system, so if it’s a single arg, it can contain /bin/sh syntax. Otherwise, it’s a pre-parsed command that must be found on the PATH.

Note that I couldn’t figure out how to horse around with the current directory very well, so I’m using $_ here instead of the more traditional File::Find::name. It still works, because we’re still chdir’ed down into the directory, but it looks weird on a trace. Trigger no_chdir in find if you want a traditional find full path.

  my $f = File::Finder->exec(ls, -ldg, {});
  find({ no_chdir => 1, wanted => $f }, @starting_dirs);

Yeah, it’d be trivial for me to add a no_chdir method. Soon.

ok(@COMMAND) Like exec, but displays the command line first, and waits for a response. If the response begins with y or Y, runs the command. If the command fails, or the response wasn’t yes, returns false, otherwise true.
prune Sets $File::Find::prune, and returns true.
xdev Not yet implemented.
newer Not yet implemented.
eval(CODEREF) Ah yes, the master escape, with extra benefits. Give it a coderef, and it evaluates that code at the proper time. The return value is noted for true/false and used accordingly.

  my $blaster = File::Finder->atime("+30")->eval(sub { unlink });

But wait, there’s more. If the parameter is an object that responds to as_wanted, that method is automatically called, hoping for a coderef return. This neat feature allows subroutines to be created and nested:

  my $old = File::Finder->atime("+30");
  my $big = File::Finder->size("+100");
  my $old_or_big = File::Finder->eval($old)->or->eval($big);
  my $killer = File::Finder->eval(sub { unlink });
  my $kill_old_or_big = File::Finder->eval($old_or_big)->ls->eval($killer);

Almost too cool for words.

depth Like find’s -depth. Sets a flag for as_options, and returns true.
ls Like find’s -ls. Performs a ls -dils on the entry to STDOUT (without forking), and returns true.
tar Not yet implemented.
[n]cpio Not yet implemented.
ffr($ffr_object) Incorporate a File::Find::Rule object as a step. Note that this must be a rule object, and not a result, so don’t call or pass in. For example, using File::Find::Rule::ImageSize to define a predicate for image files that are bigger than a megapixel in my friends folder, I get:

  require File::Finder;
  require File::Find::Rule;
  require File::Find::Rule::ImageSize;
  my $ffr = File::Find::Rule->file->image_x(>1000)->image_y(>1000);
  my @big_friends = File::Finder->ffr($ffr)

contains(pattern) True if the file contains pattern (either a literal string treated as a regex, or a true regex object).

  my $plugh_files = File::Finder->type(f)->contains(qr/plugh/);

Searching is performed on a line-by-line basis, respecting the current value of $/.


A step consists of a compile-time and a run-time component.

During the creation of a File::Finder object, step methods are called as if they were methods against the slowly-growing File::Finder instance, including any additional parameters as in a normal method call. The step is expected to return a coderef (possibly a closure) to be executed at run-time.

When a File::Finder object is being evaluated as the File::Find wanted routine, the collected coderefs are evaluated in sequence, again as method calls against the File::Finder object. No additional parameters are passed. However, the normal wanted values are available, such as $_, $File::Find::name, and so on. The _ pseudo-handle has been set properly, so you can safely use -X filetests and stat against the pseudo-handle. The routine is expected to return a true/false value, which becomes the value of the step.

Although a File::Finder object is passed both to the compile-time invocation and the resulting run-time invocation, only the options self-hash element is properly duplicated through the cloning process. Do not be tempted to add additional self-hash elements without overriding File::Finder’s _clone. Instead, pass values from the compile-time phase to the run-time phase using closure variables, as shown in the synopsis.

For simplicity, you can also just mix-in your methods to the existing File::Finder::Steps class, rather than subclassing both classes as shown above. However, this may result in conflicting implementations of a given step name, so beware.




None known yet.


Randal L. Schwartz, <>


Copyright (C) 2003,2004 by Randal L. Schwartz, Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself, either Perl version 5.8.2 or, at your option, any later version of Perl 5 you may have available.

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perl v5.20.3 FILE::FINDER::STEPS (3) 2005-04-08

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