useful recursive PHP functions

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PHP Manual for


(PHP 3, PHP 4 )

opendir -- open directory handle


resource opendir ( string path)

Returns a directory handle to be used in subsequent closedir(), readdir(), and rewinddir() calls.

If path is not a valid directory or the directory can not be opened due to permission restrictions or filesystem errors, opendir() returns FALSE and generates a PHP error of level E_WARNING. You can suppress the error output of opendir() by prepending '@' to the front of the function name.

Example 1. opendir() example

= "/tmp/";

// Open a known directory, and proceed to read its contents
if (is_dir($dir)) {
    if (
$dh = opendir($dir)) {
        while ((
$file = readdir($dh)) !== false) {
"filename: $file : filetype: " . filetype($dir . $file) . "\n";

As of PHP 4.3.0 path can also be any URL which supports directory listing, however only the file:// URL wrapper supports this in PHP 4.3. As of PHP 5.0.0, support for the ftp:// URL wrapper is included as well.

See also is_dir(), readdir(), and Dir

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