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Raku port of Perl's opendir() and related built-ins


# exports opendir, readdir, telldir, seekdir, rewinddir, closedir
use P5opendir;

opendir(my $dh, $some_dir) || die "can't opendir $some_dir: $!";
my @dots = grep { .starts-with('.') && "$some_dir/$_".IO.f }, readdir($dh);
closedir $dh;


This module tries to mimic the behaviour of Perl's opendir, readdir, telldir, seekdir, rewinddir and closedir built-ins as closely as possible in the Raku Programming Language.


        Opens a directory named EXPR for processing by "readdir",
        "telldir", "seekdir", "rewinddir", and "closedir". Returns true if
        successful. DIRHANDLE may be an expression whose value can be used
        as an indirect dirhandle, usually the real dirhandle name. If
        DIRHANDLE is an undefined scalar variable (or array or hash
        element), the variable is assigned a reference to a new anonymous
        dirhandle; that is, it's autovivified. DIRHANDLEs have their own
        namespace separate from FILEHANDLEs.

        Returns the next directory entry for a directory opened by
        "opendir". If used in list context, returns all the rest of the
        entries in the directory. If there are no more entries, returns
        the undefined value in scalar context and the empty list in list

        If you're planning to filetest the return values out of a
        "readdir", you'd better prepend the directory in question.
        Otherwise, because we didn't "chdir" there, it would have been
        testing the wrong file.

            opendir(my $dh, $some_dir) || die "can't opendir $some_dir: $!";
            @dots = grep { /^\./ && -f "$some_dir/$_" } readdir($dh);
            closedir $dh;

        As of Perl 5.12 you can use a bare "readdir" in a "while" loop,
        which will set $_ on every iteration.

            opendir(my $dh, $some_dir) || die;
            while(readdir $dh) {
                print "$some_dir/$_\n";
            closedir $dh;

        To avoid confusing would-be users of your code who are running
        earlier versions of Perl with mysterious failures, put this sort
        of thing at the top of your file to signal that your code will
        work monly on Perls of a recent vintage:

            use 5.012; # so readdir assigns to $_ in a lone while test

        Returns the current position of the "readdir" routines on
        DIRHANDLE. Value may be given to "seekdir" to access a particular
        location in a directory. "telldir" has the same caveats about
        possible directory compaction as the corresponding system library

        Sets the current position for the "readdir" routine on DIRHANDLE.
        POS must be a value returned by "telldir". "seekdir" also has the
        same caveats about possible directory compaction as the
        corresponding system library routine.

closedir DIRHANDLE
        Closes a directory opened by "opendir" and returns the success of
        that system call.


The readdir function has three modes:

list mode

By default, readdir returns a list with all directory entries found.

my @entries = readdir($dh);

scalar context

In scalar context, readdir returns one directory entry at a time. Add Scalar as the first positional variable to mimic this behaviour:

while readdir(Scalar, $dh, :scalar) -> $entry {
    say "found $entry";

void context

In void context, readdir stores one directory entry at a time in $_. Add Mu as the first positional variable to mimic this behaviour:

.say while readdir(Mu, $dh, :void);

$_ no longer accessible from caller's scope

In future language versions of Raku, it will become impossible to access the $_ variable of the caller's scope, because it will not have been marked as a dynamic variable. So please consider changing:


to either:


or, using the subroutine as a method syntax, with the prefix . shortcut to use that scope's $_ as the invocant:



Elizabeth Mattijsen liz@raku.rocks

If you like this module, or what I’m doing more generally, committing to a small sponsorship would mean a great deal to me!

Source can be located at: https://github.com/lizmat/P5opendir . Comments and Pull Requests are welcome.


Copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023 Elizabeth Mattijsen

Re-imagined from Perl as part of the CPAN Butterfly Plan.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the Artistic License 2.0.