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Reads entire file into an array (PHP 4, PHP 5)
array file ( string filename [, int flags [, resource context]] )

Reads an entire file into an array.


You can use file_get_contents() to return the contents of a file as a string.



Path to the file.


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.


The optional parameter flags can be one, or more, of the following constants:

Search for the file in the include_path.
Do not add newline at the end of each array element
Skip empty lines
The content is returned in UTF-8 encoding. You can specify a different encoding by creating a custom context. This flag cannot be used with FILE_BINARY. This flag is only available since PHP 6.
The content is read as binary data. This is the default setting and cannot be used with FILE_TEXT. This flag is only available since PHP 6.

A context resource created with the stream_context_create() function.


Context support was added with PHP 5.0.0. For a description of contexts, refer to Streams.

Return Values

Returns the file in an array. Each element of the array corresponds to a line in the file, with the newline still attached. Upon failure, file() returns FALSE.


Each line in the resulting array will include the line ending, unless FILE_IGNORE_NEW_LINES is used, so you still need to use rtrim() if you do not want the line ending present.


If you are having problems with PHP not recognizing the line endings when reading files either on or created by a Macintosh computer, you might want to enable the auto_detect_line_endings run-time configuration option.


6.0.0 Added support for the FILE_TEXT and FILE_BINARY flags.
5.0.0 The context parameter was added
5.0.0 Prior to PHP 5.0.0 the flags parameter only covered include_path and was enabled with 1
4.3.0 file() became binary safe


Example 630. file() example

// Get a file into an array.  In this example we'll go through HTTP to get
// the HTML source of a URL.
$lines = file('');

// Loop through our array, show HTML source as HTML source; and line numbers too.
foreach ($lines as $line_num => $line) {
"Line #<b>{$line_num}</b> : " . htmlspecialchars($line) . "<br />\n";

// Another example, let's get a web page into a string.  See also file_get_contents().
$html = implode('', file(''));



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.