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The Finder Component

The Finder Component

The Finder Component finds files and directories via an intuitive fluent interface.


You can install the component in many different ways:


The Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder class finds files and/or directories:

use Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder;

$finder = new Finder();

foreach ($finder as $file) {
    // Print the absolute path
    print $file->getRealpath()."\n";

    // Print the relative path to the file, omitting the filename
    print $file->getRelativePath()."\n";

    // Print the relative path to the file
    print $file->getRelativePathname()."\n";

The $file is an instance of Symfony\Component\Finder\SplFileInfo which extends SplFileInfo to provide methods to work with relative paths.

The above code prints the names of all the files in the current directory recursively. The Finder class uses a fluent interface, so all methods return the Finder instance.


A Finder instance is a PHP Iterator. So, instead of iterating over the Finder with foreach, you can also convert it to an array with the iterator_to_array method, or get the number of items with iterator_count.


When searching through multiple locations passed to the in() method, a separate iterator is created internally for every location. This means we have multiple result sets aggregated into one. Since iterator_to_array uses keys of result sets by default, when converting to an array, some keys might be duplicated and their values overwritten. This can be avoided by passing false as a second parameter to iterator_to_array.


There are lots of ways to filter and sort your results.


The location is the only mandatory criteria. It tells the finder which directory to use for the search:


Search in several locations by chaining calls to in():


Exclude directories from matching with the exclude() method:


As the Finder uses PHP iterators, you can pass any URL with a supported protocol:


And it also works with user-defined streams:

use Symfony\Component\Finder\Finder;

$s3 = new \Zend_Service_Amazon_S3($key, $secret);

$finder = new Finder();
$finder->name('photos*')->size('< 100K')->date('since 1 hour ago');
foreach ($finder->in('s3://bucket-name') as $file) {
    // ... do something

    print $file->getFilename()."\n";


Read the Streams documentation to learn how to create your own streams.

Files or Directories

By default, the Finder returns files and directories; but the files() and directories() methods control that:



If you want to follow links, use the followLinks() method:


By default, the iterator ignores popular VCS files. This can be changed with the ignoreVCS() method:



Sort the result by name or by type (directories first, then files):




Notice that the sort* methods need to get all matching elements to do their jobs. For large iterators, it is slow.

You can also define your own sorting algorithm with sort() method:

$sort = function (\SplFileInfo $a, \SplFileInfo $b)
    return strcmp($a->getRealpath(), $b->getRealpath());


File Name

Restrict files by name with the name() method:


The name() method accepts globs, strings, or regexes:


The notName() method excludes files matching a pattern:


File Size

Restrict files by size with the size() method:

$finder->files()->size('< 1.5K');

Restrict by a size range by chaining calls:

$finder->files()->size('>= 1K')->size('<= 2K');

The comparison operator can be any of the following: >, >=, <, ‘<=’, ‘==’.

The target value may use magnitudes of kilobytes (k, ki), megabytes (m, mi), or gigabytes (g, gi). Those suffixed with an i use the appropriate 2**n version in accordance with the IEC standard.

File Date

Restrict files by last modified dates with the date() method:

$finder->date('since yesterday');

The comparison operator can be any of the following: >, >=, <, ‘<=’, ‘==’. You can also use since or after as an alias for >, and until or before as an alias for <.

The target value can be any date supported by the strtotime function.

Directory Depth

By default, the Finder recursively traverse directories. Restrict the depth of traversing with depth():

$finder->depth('== 0');
$finder->depth('< 3');

Custom Filtering

To restrict the matching file with your own strategy, use filter():

$filter = function (\SplFileInfo $file)
    if (strlen($file) > 10) {
        return false;


The filter() method takes a Closure as an argument. For each matching file, it is called with the file as a Symfony\Component\Finder\SplFileInfo instance. The file is excluded from the result set if the Closure returns false.

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.