File::Type(3) User Contributed Perl Documentation File::Type(3)

File::Type - determine file type using magic

my $ft = File::Type->new();

# read in data from file to $data, then
my $type_from_data = $ft->checktype_contents($data);

# alternatively, check file from disk
my $type_from_file = $ft->checktype_filename($file);
# convenient method for checking either a file or data
my $type_1 = $ft->mime_type($file);
my $type_2 = $ft->mime_type($data);

File::Type uses magic numbers (typically at the start of a file) to determine the MIME type of that file.

File::Type can use either a filename, or file contents, to determine the type of a file.

Returns a new File::Type object.

Takes either data or a filename, determines what it is, and passes the argument through to the relevant method below. If the argument is a directory, returns undef.

Opens $filename (if possible; if not, returns undef) and returns the MIME type of the file.

Matches $data against the magic database criteria and returns the MIME type of the file.

* Add additional magic match criteria

None known.


Some magic definitions in the mime-magic file used in the creation of this module vary from those in other apps (eg image/x-png not image/png).

File::MMagic and File::MimeInfo perform the same job, but have a number of problems that led to the creation of this module.

File::MMagic inlines a copy of the magic database, and uses a DATA filehandle, which causes problems when running under mod_perl.

File::MimeInfo uses an external magic file, and relies on file extensions rather than magic to determine the mime type.

As a result, File::Type uses a seperate module and script to create the code at the core of this module, which means that there is no need to include a magic database at all, and that it is safe to run under mod_perl.

File::Type::Builder, which generates the code at the heart of this module.

File::Type is built from a mime-magic file from The original can be found at

Paul Mison <>

Copyright 2003-2004 Fotango Ltd.

Licensed under the same terms as Perl itself.

2022-05-29 perl v5.36.0