Tools that allows you to manipulate files over 2GB in PHP.

v2.0.0 2016-03-17 16:18 UTC


Join the chat at https://gitter.im/jkuchar/BigFileTools Latest Stable Version License Total Downloads Monthly Downloads Build Status - Linux Build status - Windows Scrutinizer Code Quality Code Climate API Docs

This project is collection of hacks that are needed to manipulate files over 2GB in PHP (even on 32-bit systems). Currently there is support for getting exact file size. This project started as answer to stackoverflow question.

Simplest usage:

$file = BigFileTools\BigFileTools::createDefault()->getFile(__FILE__);
echo "This file has " . $file->getSize() . " bytes\n";

Will produce output:

This file has 176 bytes

Please note, that getSize() returns Brick\BigInteger. This is due to fact that PHP's internal integer can be too small for huge files.

To get approximate value of file size you can convert BigInteger into float. Please note that by doing this you will loose precision.

Tip: You can configure BigFileTools in any way you want. (no static dependencies included) There is example in example directory prepared for this scenario.

Will this really work?

This project is automatically tested on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. More about testing in tests directory.

Under the hood

To get insight into what is happening we need a little introduction in how numbers are represented in digital world.

The problem lies in the fact that PHP uses 32-bit signed integer on most platforms. PHPx64 for Linux 64-bit version uses 64-bit so you do not need this library there anymore. On the other hand 64-bit version of PHP for 64-bit Windows uses 32-bit integer. Because PHP uses signed integers this means that there is one bit for sign (+-) and rest is used for value.

32-bit signed integer max value: +2^31 =             2 147 483 648 ~             2 gigabytes
64-bit signed integer max value: +2^63 = 9 223 372 036 854 775 808 ~ 9 223 372 000 gigabytes

To overcome this problem this library uses string representation of numbers which means that only you RAM is limit of number size.

Caution: There are tons of non-solutions for this problem. Most of them looks like sprintf("%u", filesize($file));. This does NOT solve problem. If just shifts it a little. The %u assumes give value as unsigned integer. This means that first signing bit is treated also as a value. Unfortunately this means that boundary was just shifted from 2 GB limit to 4 GB.

Second problem is that standard file manipulation APIs fails with strange errors or returns weird values. That is why BigFileTools has drivers. They are by default executed from the fastest to the slowest and unsupported ones are skipped.


Currently there is support for size drivers - drivers for obtaining file size.

Selecting default drivers and their order of drivers is done based on two factors - availability and speed.

Driver Time (s) ↓ Runtime requirements Platform
CurlDriver 0.00045299530029297 CURL extension -
NativeSeekDriver 0.00052094459533691 - -
ComDriver 0.0031449794769287 COM+.NET extension Windows only
ExecDriver 0.042937040328979 exec() enabled Windows, Linux, OS X
NativeRead 2.7670161724091 - -

In default configuration size drivers are ordered by speed and unavailable ones are skipped. This means that in default configuration you do not need to worry about compatibility.


Please follow Composer requirements.

To speed things up (e.g. in production) I recommend installing CURL extension which enables you to use the fastest driver.