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 File::Copy - Copy files or filehandles


File::Copy - Copy files or filehandles


        use File::Copy;
        use POSIX;
        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 another.

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. 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::CopyFile.

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

If both arguments to copy are not file handles, then copy will perform 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 position 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 revision 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.


File::Copy was written by Aaron Sherman <ajs@ajs.com> in 1995, and updated by Charles Bailey <bailey@newman.upenn.edu> in 1996.

 File::Copy - Copy files or filehandles