You are viewing the version of this documentation from Perl 5.12.0. View the latest version

Closes the file or pipe associated with the filehandle, flushes the IO buffers, and closes the system file descriptor. Returns true if those operations have succeeded and if no error was reported by any PerlIO layer. Closes the currently selected filehandle if the argument is omitted.

You don't have to close FILEHANDLE if you are immediately going to do another open on it, because open closes it for you. (See open.) However, an explicit close on an input file resets the line counter ($.), while the implicit close done by open does not.

If the filehandle came from a piped open, close returns false if one of the other syscalls involved fails or if its program exits with non-zero status. If the only problem was that the program exited non-zero, $! will be set to 0. Closing a pipe also waits for the process executing on the pipe to exit--in case you wish to look at the output of the pipe afterwards--and implicitly puts the exit status value of that command into $? and ${^CHILD_ERROR_NATIVE}.

Closing the read end of a pipe before the process writing to it at the other end is done writing results in the writer receiving a SIGPIPE. If the other end can't handle that, be sure to read all the data before closing the pipe.


open(OUTPUT, '|sort >foo')  # pipe to sort
    or die "Can't start sort: $!";
#...                        # print stuff to output
close OUTPUT                # wait for sort to finish
    or warn $! ? "Error closing sort pipe: $!"
               : "Exit status $? from sort";
open(INPUT, 'foo')          # get sort's results
    or die "Can't open 'foo' for input: $!";

FILEHANDLE may be an expression whose value can be used as an indirect filehandle, usually the real filehandle name.