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file_get_contents

Reads entire file into a string (PHP 4 >= 4.3.0, PHP 5)
string file_get_contents ( string filename [, int flags [, resource context [, int offset [, int maxlen]]]] )

This function is similar to file(), except that file_get_contents() returns the file in a string, starting at the specified offset up to maxlen bytes. On failure, file_get_contents() will return FALSE.

file_get_contents() is the preferred way to read the contents of a file into a string. It will use memory mapping techniques if supported by your OS to enhance performance.

Note:

If you're opening a URI with special characters, such as spaces, you need to encode the URI with urlencode().

Parameters

filename

Name of the file to read.

flags
Warning:

For all versions prior to PHP 6, this parameter is called use_include_path and is a bool. The flags parameter is only available since PHP 6. If you use an older version and want to search for filename in the include path, this parameter must be TRUE. Since PHP 6, you have to use the FILE_USE_INCLUDE_PATH flag instead.

The value of flags can be any combination of the following flags (with some restrictions), joined with the binary OR (|) operator.

Table 91. Available flags

FlagDescription
FILE_USE_INCLUDE_PATH Search for filename in the include directory. See include_path for more information.
FILE_TEXT If unicode semantics are enabled, the default encoding of the read data is UTF-8. You can specify a different encoding by creating a custom context or by changing the default using stream_default_encoding(). This flag cannot be used with FILE_BINARY.
FILE_BINARY With this flag, the file is read in binary mode. This is the default setting and cannot be used with FILE_TEXT.


context

A valid context resource created with stream_context_create(). If you don't need to use a custom context, you can skip this parameter by NULL.

offset

The offset where the reading starts.

maxlen

Maximum length of data read.

Return Values

The function returns the read data or FALSE on failure.

ChangeLog

VersionDescription
5.0.0 Added context support.
5.1.0 Added the offset and maxlen parameters.
6.0.0 The use_include_path parameter was replaced by the flags parameter.

Notes

Note:

This function is binary-safe.

Tip:

You can use a URL as a filename with this function if the fopen wrappers have been enabled. See fopen() for more details on how to specify the filename and Appendix O, List of Supported Protocols/Wrappers for a list of supported URL protocols.

Warning:

When using SSL, Microsoft IIS will violate the protocol by closing the connection without sending a close_notify indicator. PHP will report this as "SSL: Fatal Protocol Error" when you reach the end of the data. To workaround this, you should lower your error_reporting level not to include warnings. PHP 4.3.7 and higher can detect buggy IIS server software when you open the stream using the https:// wrapper and will suppress the warning for you. If you are using fsockopen() to create an ssl:// socket, you are responsible for detecting and suppressing the warning yourself.