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Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006


(PHP 3, PHP 4, PHP 5)

fgets -- Gets line from file pointer


string fgets ( resource handle [, int length] )

Returns a string of up to length - 1 bytes read from the file pointed to by handle. Reading ends when length - 1 bytes have been read, on a newline (which is included in the return value), or on EOF (whichever comes first). If no length is specified, it will keep reading from the stream until it reaches the end of the line.

If an error occurs, returns FALSE.

Common Pitfalls:

People used to the 'C' semantics of fgets() should note the difference in how EOF is returned.

The file pointer must be valid, and must point to a file successfully opened by fopen() or fsockopen() (and not yet closed by fclose()).

A simple example follows:

Example 1. Reading a file line by line

$handle = @fopen("/tmp/inputfile.txt", "r");
if ($handle) {
    while (!feof($handle)) {
        $buffer = fgets($handle, 4096);
        echo $buffer;

Note: The length parameter became optional in PHP 4.2.0. Until PHP 4.3.0, omitting it would assume 1024 as the line length. If the majority of the lines in the file are all larger than 8KB, it is more resource efficient for your script to specify the maximum line length.

Note: This function is binary safe as of PHP 4.3. Earlier versions were not binary safe.

Note: 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.

See also fgetss() fread(), fgetc(), stream_get_line(), fopen(), popen(), fsockopen(), and stream_set_timeout().

Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006