File::StatCache - a caching wrapper around the stat() function


This module implements a cache of information returned by the stat() function. It stores the result of a stat() syscall, to avoid putting excess load on the host's filesystem in case many calls would be generated.

By default the cache for any given filename will time out after 10 seconds; so any request for information on the same name after this time will result in another stat() syscall, ensuring fresh information. This timeout is stored in the package variable $File::StatCache::STATTIMEOUT, and can be modified by other modules if required.


$stats = get_stat( $path [, $now ] )

This function wraps a call to File::stat::stat(), and caches the result. If the requested file was stat()ed within $STATTIMEOUT seconds, it will not be requested again, but the previous result (i.e. an object reference or undef) will be returned.

The $now parameter allows some other time than the current time to be used, rather than re-request it from the kernel using the time() function. This allows a succession of tests to be performed in a consistent way, to avoid a race condition.


The path to the filesystem item to stat()


Optional. The time to consider as the current time

$stats = stat( $path )

@stats = stat( $path )

This is a drop-in replacement for either the perl core stat() function or the File::stat::stat function, depending whether it is called in list or scalar context. It behaves identically to either of these functions, except that it returns cached results if the cached value is recent enough.

Note that in the case of failure (i.e. undef in scalar context, empty in list context), the value of $! is not reliable as the reason for error. Error results are not currently cached.


The path to the filesystem item to stat()

get_item_mtime( $path [, $now ] )

This function is equivalent to

 (scalar get_stat( $path, $now ))->mtime

The path to the filesystem item to stat()


Optional. The time to consider as the current time


  • The shortcut tests (e.g. -f, -r, etc..) will not work with this module.

  • The "last results" filename _ cannot be used; the following code will not work with this module:

      my @stats = stat( _ );


  • The value of $! is not preserved for per-file failures. When undef or the empty list are returned, the $! value may not indicate the reason for this particular failure.


Paul Evans <>