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File::Attributes - Manipulate file metadata


Version 0.04


    use File::Attributes qw(set_attribute list_attributes get_all_attributes);

    my $file = 'foo.txt';
    set_attribute($file, type     => 'text/plain');
    set_attribute($file, encoding => 'utf8');
    my @attributes = list_attributes($file);
    #  @attributes = qw(type encoding)
    %attributes = get_attributes($file);
    #  $attributes{type} will be 'text/plain'
    #  $attributes{foo}  will be undefined.


File::Attributes is a wrapper around modules in the File::Attributes hierarchy. If you use this module directly (instead of one of the aforementioned decendants), then your attribute manipulations will Just Work, regardless of the underlying filesystem.

Module::Pluggable is used to find all File::Attributes:: modules that inherit from File::Attributes::Base and that are applicable on your system. If it finds one, it uses that. If not, it uses File::Attributes::Simple, which is bundled with this module and works everywhere.

As of version 0.04, plugins are now set up per-file, not per-system. This means that if you have File::Attributes::Extended installed, extended attributes will be used where available, but Simple attributes will be used on files where extended attributes don't work (a FAT filesytem on a Linux machine, for example). Existing simple attributes will be read even if extended attributes are available, but writes will affect only the extended attributes.

This means that you can switch to a better attribute plugin at any time, without losing any old data!


None, by default. Specify the functions that you'd like to use as arguments to the module. If you want everything, specify :all.


All functions throw an exception on error.

get_attribute($file, $attribute)

Returns the value of attribute $attribute on file $file. If $attribute doesn't exist, returns undefined.

set_attribute($file, $attribute => $value)

Sets attribute $<attribute> on file $file to $value.


Returns a hash of all attributes on $file.

set_attributes($file, %hash)

Sets the attributes named by the keys of %hash to the value contained in %hash. Note that this operation is not atomic -- if setting an individual attribute fails, the attributes on $file may not be the same as before set_attributes was called!

unset_attribute($file, $attribute)

Removes the attribute $attribute from $file.

unset_attributes($file, $attribute0, [$attribute1, ...])

Removes each attribute ($attribute0, $attribute1, ...) from $file.


Returns a list of the attributes on $file. Equivalent to (but faster than) keys get_attributes($file).


Jonathan Rockway, <jrockway at>


Please report any bugs or feature requests to RT at


Copyright 2006 Jonathan Rockway, all rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.