PHP: How Do I Read From a Text File?

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How do I read from text file using PHP under Linux or UNIX?

PHP does supports the file reading and writing. You can open a file using the fopen() function. Once the file is open, you can use the fgets() function to read from the file.

For example, if you wish to open file called /tmp/file1.txt then following PHP code will help you to read file. fopen() will open fine in r (read) mode. Then while loop will open file using fgets() function till end of file:

php source code

<title>File read demo</title>
$file = "/tmp/file1.txt";
$f = fopen($file, "r");
while ( $line = fgets($f, 1000) ) {
print $line;

See fopen() and fgets() for more information.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

15 comment

  1. Thanks for the provide the coding ..
    I need a another one help ,( unknow size of the text file ) using for loop to retrieve the textf ile value…

  2. Thanks a lot Vivek for providing necessary information and also would like to know that
    Is it possible to execute perl script inside php?

  3. if i read this file and print, than
    -new line char, tabs, gets lost

    is it possible to print text file as same as its in original format !

    please suggest

  4. This works for me:

    if ($_FILES['fileUpload']['error'] == UPLOAD_ERR_OK               
          && is_uploaded_file($_FILES['fileUpload']['tmp_name'])) { 
      echo file_get_contents($_FILES['fileUpload']['tmp_name']); 

    Hope it helps.

    Edited by admin: added pre tags.

    1. Well, use the pre tags to display the variable with file contents with print. Obove example posted a bit weird.

  5. hi, i want to ask a question that . it i have a test.txt file with this data .

    Student Table.
    1- student 1
    2- student 2
    3- student 3

    this file located in D:\test.txt …..
    how can i read this file on web page and show out put like first line as title and other lines are same as it is.

    plz help. sorry for bad english.
    Thanx in advance

  6. @sh I don’t knw why it does that from your side but to me this cript does exactly the real job : what I dont undestand is that 1000
    : This is gud thanks

  7. Thanks for the code. Can you please elaborate how can we handle a specific column or row of text in php?

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