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Raku port of Perl's unlink() built-in


use P5unlink;

say unlink("foobar"); # 1 if successful, 0 if not

with "foobar" {
    say unlink; # 1 if succesful, 0 if not

say unlink(@paths); # number of files removed


This module tries to mimic the behaviour of Perl's unlink built-in as closely as possible in the Raku Programming Language.


unlink LIST
unlink  Deletes a list of files. On success, it returns the number of
        files it successfully deleted. On failure, it returns false and
        sets $! (errno):

            my $unlinked = unlink 'a', 'b', 'c';
            unlink @goners;
            unlink glob "*.bak";

        On error, "unlink" will not tell you which files it could not
        remove. If you want to know which files you could not remove,
        try them one at a time:

             foreach my $file ( @goners ) {
                 unlink $file or warn "Could not unlink $file: $!";

        Note: "unlink" will not attempt to delete directories unless you
        are superuser and the -U flag is supplied to Perl. Even if these
        conditions are met, be warned that unlinking a directory can
        inflict damage on your filesystem. Finally, using "unlink" on
        directories is not supported on many operating systems. Use
        "rmdir" instead.

        If LIST is omitted, "unlink" uses $_.


removing directories not supported

As the original documents indicate, use rmdir instead.

$_ 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/P5unlink . Comments and Pull Requests are welcome.


Copyright 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.