FAQ 5.19 How can I reliably rename a file?

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

This is an excerpt from the latest version perlfaq5.pod, which
comes with the standard Perl distribution. These postings aim to
reduce the number of repeated questions as well as allow the community
to review and update the answers. The latest version of the complete
perlfaq is at http://faq.perl.org .


5.19: How can I reliably rename a file?

    If your operating system supports a proper mv(1) utility or its
    functional equivalent, this works:

            rename($old, $new) or system("mv", $old, $new);

    It may be more portable to use the File::Copy module instead. You just
    copy to the new file to the new name (checking return values), then
    delete the old one. This isn't really the same semantically as a
    rename(), which preserves meta-information like permissions, timestamps,
    inode info, etc.

    Newer versions of File::Copy export a move() function.


The perlfaq-workers, a group of volunteers, maintain the perlfaq. They
are not necessarily experts in every domain where Perl might show up,
so please include as much information as possible and relevant in any
corrections. The perlfaq-workers also don't have access to every
operating system or platform, so please include relevant details for
corrections to examples that do not work on particular platforms.
Working code is greatly appreciated.

If you'd like to help maintain the perlfaq, see the details in

Site Timeline