fopen() binds a named resource, specified by filename, to a stream.
If filename is of the form "scheme://...", it is assumed to be a URL and PHP will search for a protocol handler (also known as a wrapper) for that scheme. If no wrappers for that protocol are registered, PHP will emit a notice to help you track potential problems in your script and then continue as though filename specifies a regular file.
If PHP has decided that filename specifies a local file, then it will try to open a stream on that file. The file must be accessible to PHP, so you need to ensure that the file access permissions allow this access. If you have enabled safe mode, or open_basedir further restrictions may apply.
If PHP has decided that filename specifies a registered protocol, and that protocol is registered as a network URL, PHP will check to make sure that allow_url_fopen is enabled. If it is switched off, PHP will emit a warning and the fopen call will fail.
The list of supported protocols can be found in Appendix O, List of Supported Protocols/Wrappers. Some protocols (also referred to as
php.ini options. Refer to the specific page for the
protocol in use for a list of options which can be set. (e.g.
user_agent used by the
On the Windows platform, be careful to escape any backslashes used in the path to the file, or use forward slashes.
$handle = fopen("c:\\data\\info.txt", "r");
The mode parameter specifies the type of access you require to the stream. It may be any of the following:
|Open for reading only; place the file pointer at the beginning of the file.|
|Open for reading and writing; place the file pointer at the beginning of the file.|
|Open for writing only; place the file pointer at the beginning of the file and truncate the file to zero length. If the file does not exist, attempt to create it.|
|Open for reading and writing; place the file pointer at the beginning of the file and truncate the file to zero length. If the file does not exist, attempt to create it.|
|Open for writing only; place the file pointer at the end of the file. If the file does not exist, attempt to create it.|
|Open for reading and writing; place the file pointer at the end of the file. If the file does not exist, attempt to create it.|
Create and open for writing only; place the file pointer at the
beginning of the file. If the file already exists, the
fopen() call will fail by returning |
Create and open for reading and writing; place the file pointer at
the beginning of the file. If the file already exists, the
fopen() call will fail by returning |
Different operating system families have different line-ending
conventions. When you write a text file and want to insert a line
break, you need to use the correct line-ending character(s) for your
operating system. Unix based systems use
\n as the
line ending character, Windows based systems use
as the line ending characters and Macintosh based systems use
\r as the line ending character.
If you use the wrong line ending characters when writing your files, you might find that other applications that open those files will "look funny".
Windows offers a text-mode translation flag (
which will transparently translate
\r\n when working with the file. In contrast, you
can also use
'b' to force binary mode, which will not
translate your data. To use these flags, specify either
't' as the last character
of the mode parameter.
The default translation mode depends on the SAPI and version of PHP that
you are using, so you are encouraged to always specify the appropriate
flag for portability reasons. You should use the
mode if you are working with plain-text files and you use
\n to delimit your line endings in your script, but
expect your files to be readable with applications such as notepad. You
should use the
'b' in all other cases.
If you do not specify the 'b' flag when working with binary files, you
may experience strange problems with your data, including broken image
files and strange problems with
For portability, it is strongly recommended that you always use the 'b' flag when opening files with fopen().
Again, for portability, it is also strongly recommended that
you re-write code that uses or relies upon the
mode so that it uses the correct line endings and
'b' mode instead.
The optional third use_include_path parameter
can be set to '1' or
TRUE if you want to search for the file in the
Context support was added
with PHP 5.0.0. For a description of
contexts, refer to
If the open fails, the function an error of level
E_WARNING is generated. You may use @ to suppress this
As of PHP 4.3.2, the default mode is set to binary for all platforms
that distinguish between binary and text mode. If you are having
problems with your scripts after upgrading, try using the
$handle = fopen("/home/rasmus/file.txt", "r");
$handle = fopen("/home/rasmus/file.gif", "wb");
$handle = fopen("http://www.example.com/", "r");
$handle = fopen("ftp://user:email@example.com/somefile.txt", "w");
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.
When safe mode is enabled, PHP checks whether the directory in which you are about to operate has the same UID (owner) as the script that is being executed.
If you are experiencing problems with reading and writing to files and you're using the server module version of PHP, remember to make sure that the files and directories you're using are accessible to the server process.