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PHP : Function Reference : Directory Functions

Directory Functions



No external libraries are needed to build this extension.


There is no installation needed to use these functions; they are part of the PHP core.

Runtime Configuration

This extension has no configuration directives defined in php.ini.

Resource Types

Predefined Constants

The constants below are defined by this extension, and will only be available when the extension has either been compiled into PHP or dynamically loaded at runtime.


The PATH_SEPARATOR was introduced with PHP 4.3.0-RC2.

See Also

For related functions such as dirname(), is_dir(), mkdir(), and rmdir(), see the Filesystem section.

Table of Contents

chdir — Change directory
chroot — Change the root directory
dir — Return an instance of the Directory class
closedir — Close directory handle
getcwd — Gets the current working directory
opendir — Open directory handle
readdir — Read entry from directory handle
rewinddir — Rewind directory handle
scandir — List files and directories inside the specified path

Code Examples / Notes » ref.dir

engin bzzzt biz

To join directory and file names in a cross-platform manner you can use the following function.
function join_path()
$num_args = func_num_args();
$args = func_get_args();
$path = $args[0];

if( $num_args > 1 )
for ($i = 1; $i < $num_args; $i++)
$path .= DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR.$args[$i];

return $path;
It should do the following:
$src = join_path( '/foo', 'bar', 'john.jpg' );
echo $src; // On *nix -> /foo/bar/john.jpg
$src = join_path( 'C:\www', '', 'foo.jpg' );
echo $src; // On win32 -> C:\\www\\\\foo.jpg


Samba mounts under a Windows environment are not accessible using the mounted drive letter. For instance, if you have drive X: in Windows mounted to //example.local/shared_dir (where example.local is a *nix box running Samba), the following constructs
$dir = "X:\\data\\";
$handle = opendir( $dir );
$d = dir( $dir );
will return a warning message "failed to open dir: No error"
On the other hand, using the underlying mapping info works just fine. For example:
$dir = "//example.local/shared_dir/data";
$handle = opendir( $dir );
$d = dir( $dir );
Both cases do what they're expected to.

jean-paul wattiaux

Mine works as long as the samba volume is actually mounted. Having it listed in the "My Computer" window doesn't warrant that.


I wrote a simple backup script which puts all files in his folder (and all of the sub-folders) in one TAR archive...
(It's classic TAR format not USTAR, so filename and path to it can't be longer then 99 chars)
*   Title:  Classic-TAR based backup script v0.0.1-dev
Class Tar_by_Vladson {
var $tar_file;
var $fp;
function Tar_by_Vladson($tar_file='backup.tar') {
$this->tar_file = $tar_file;
$this->fp = fopen($this->tar_file, "wb");
$tree = $this->build_tree();
fputs($this->fp, pack("a512", ""));
function build_tree($dir='.'){
$handle = opendir($dir);
while(false !== ($readdir = readdir($handle))){
if($readdir != '.' && $readdir != '..'){
$path = $dir.'/'.$readdir;
if (is_file($path)) {
$output[] = substr($path, 2, strlen($path));
} elseif (is_dir($path)) {
$output[] = substr($path, 2, strlen($path)).'/';
$output = array_merge($output, $this->build_tree($path));
return $output;
function process_tree($tree) {
foreach( $tree as $pathfile ) {
if (substr($pathfile, -1, 1) == '/') {
fputs($this->fp, $this->build_header($pathfile));
} elseif ($pathfile != $this->tar_file) {
$filesize = filesize($pathfile);
$block_len = 512*ceil($filesize/512)-$filesize;
fputs($this->fp, $this->build_header($pathfile));
fputs($this->fp, file_get_contents($pathfile));
fputs($this->fp, pack("a".$block_len, ""));
return true;
function build_header($pathfile) {
if ( strlen($pathfile) > 99 ) die('Error');
$info = stat($pathfile);
if ( is_dir($pathfile) ) $info[7] = 0;
$header = pack("a100a8a8a8a12A12a8a1a100a255",
sprintf("%6s ", decoct($info[2])),
sprintf("%6s ", decoct($info[4])),
sprintf("%6s ", decoct($info[5])),
sprintf("%11s ",decoct($info[7])),
sprintf("%11s", decoct($info[9])),
sprintf("%8s", " "),
(is_dir($pathfile) ? "5" : "0"),
$checksum = 0;
for ($i=0; $i<512; $i++) {
$checksum += ord(substr($header,$i,1));
$checksum_data = pack(
"a8", sprintf("%6s ", decoct($checksum))
for ($i=0, $j=148; $i<7; $i++, $j++)
$header[$j] = $checksum_data[$i];
return $header;
header('Content-type: text/plain');
$start_time = array_sum(explode(chr(32), microtime()));
$tar = & new Tar_by_Vladson();
$finish_time = array_sum(explode(chr(32), microtime()));
printf("The time taken: %f seconds", ($finish_time - $start_time));


I would like to present these two simple functions for generating a complete directory listing - as I feel the other examples are to restrictive in terms of usage.
function dirTree($dir) {
$d = dir($dir);
while (false !== ($entry = $d->read())) {
if($entry != '.' && $entry != '..' && is_dir($dir.$entry))
$arDir[$entry] = dirTree($dir.$entry.'/');
return $arDir;
function printTree($array, $level=0) {
foreach($array as $key => $value) {
echo "<div class='dir' style='width: ".($level*20)."px;'>&nbsp;</div>".$key."<br/>\n";
printTree($value, $level+1);
Usage is as simple as this:
$dir = "<any directory you like>";
$arDirTree = dirTree($dir);
It is easy to add files to the tree also - so enjoy.


I have posted this same observation in scandir, and found out that it is not limited to scandir alone but to ALL directory functions.
Directory functions DOES NOT currently supports Japanese characters.

nicolas merlet - admin

Here is a very similar function to *scandir*, if you are still using PHP4...
This recursive function will return an indexed array containing all directories or files or both (depending on parameters). You can specify the depth you want, as explained below.
// $path : path to browse
// $maxdepth : how deep to browse (-1=unlimited)
// $mode : "FULL"|"DIRS"|"FILES"
// $d : must not be defined
function searchdir ( $path , $maxdepth = -1 , $mode = "FULL" , $d = 0 )
  if ( substr ( $path , strlen ( $path ) - 1 ) != '/' ) { $path .= '/' ; }      
  $dirlist = array () ;
  if ( $mode != "FILES" ) { $dirlist[] = $path ; }
  if ( $handle = opendir ( $path ) )
      while ( false !== ( $file = readdir ( $handle ) ) )
          if ( $file != '.' && $file != '..' )
              $file = $path . $file ;
              if ( ! is_dir ( $file ) ) { if ( $mode != "DIRS" ) { $dirlist[] = $file ; } }
              elseif ( $d >=0 && ($d < $maxdepth || $maxdepth < 0) )
                  $result = searchdir ( $file . '/' , $maxdepth , $mode , $d + 1 ) ;
                  $dirlist = array_merge ( $dirlist , $result ) ;
      closedir ( $handle ) ;
  if ( $d == 0 ) { natcasesort ( $dirlist ) ; }
  return ( $dirlist ) ;

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