How to read text file contents line by line?

In the following code example you will learn how to read file contents line by line using the Apache Commons FileUtils.lineIterator() method. Reading file contents one line at a time, do some processing, and release it from memory immediately will lower the memory consumption used by your program.

The snippet below give you the basic usage of the FileUtils.lineIterator() method. You pass the file to read and the encoding to use. An Iterator of the lines in the file will be returned. Use the hasNext() method to see if there are lines to read from the iterator. The nextLine() method will give you the next line from the file.

When we finished with the iterator we need to close it using the LineIterator.close() or LineIterator.closeQuietly() method.

package org.kodejava.example.commons.io;

import org.apache.commons.io.FileUtils;
import org.apache.commons.io.LineIterator;

import java.io.File;
import java.net.URL;
import java.util.Objects;

public class ReadFileLineByLine {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        // Load file from resource directory.
        ClassLoader classLoader = ReadFileLineByLine.class.getClassLoader();
        URL url = Objects.requireNonNull(classLoader.getResource("data.txt"),
                "Resource could not be found.");

        File file = new File(url.getFile());
        LineIterator iterator = FileUtils.lineIterator(file, "UTF-8");
        try {
            while (iterator.hasNext()) {
                String line = iterator.nextLine();
                System.out.println("line = " + line);
            }
        } finally {
            LineIterator.closeQuietly(iterator);
        }
    }
}

In the example above we load the file from a resource directory. That’s why we use the ClassLoader.getResource() method. If you want to load a file from an absolute path you can simply create a File object and pass the absolute path to the file.

Maven Dependency

<dependency>
    <groupId>commons-io</groupId>
    <artifactId>commons-io</artifactId>
    <version>2.5</version>
</dependency>

How do I set the value of file attributes?

This code snippet show you an example on how to set the value of file attributes. Here we will set the DosFileAttributes. To set the value of file attributes we use the Files.setAttributes() method. To set DosFileAttributes we can use the following attributes: "dos:archive", "dos:hidden", "dos:readonly" and "dos:system".

For details let’s see the code snippet below:

package org.kodejava.example.nio;

import java.nio.file.Files;
import java.nio.file.Path;
import java.nio.file.Paths;
import java.nio.file.attribute.DosFileAttributes;

public class UpdateDosFileAttributesExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        String path = "D:\resources\data.txt";
        Path file = Paths.get(path);

        // Get current Dos file attributes and print it.
        DosFileAttributes attr =
                Files.readAttributes(file, DosFileAttributes.class);
        printAttributes(attr);

        // Set a new file attributes.
        Files.setAttribute(file, "dos:archive", false);
        Files.setAttribute(file, "dos:hidden", false);
        Files.setAttribute(file, "dos:readonly", false);
        Files.setAttribute(file, "dos:system", false);

        // Read the newly set file attributes and print it.
        attr = Files.readAttributes(file, DosFileAttributes.class);
        printAttributes(attr);
    }

    /**
     * Print the DosFileAttributes information.
     *
     * @param attr DosFileAttributes.
     */
    private static void printAttributes(DosFileAttributes attr) {
        System.out.println("isArchive()  = " + attr.isArchive());
        System.out.println("isHidden()   = " + attr.isHidden());
        System.out.println("isReadOnly() = " + attr.isReadOnly());
        System.out.println("isSystem()   = " + attr.isSystem());
        System.out.println("----------------------------------------");
    }
}

The output of the code snippet:

isArchive()  = true
isHidden()   = true
isReadOnly() = true
isSystem()   = true
----------------------------------------
isArchive()  = false
isHidden()   = false
isReadOnly() = false
isSystem()   = false
----------------------------------------

How do I get file basic attributes?

This example you’ll learn how to get file’s basic attributes. Basic file attributes are attributes that are common to many file systems and consist of mandatory and optional file attributes as defined by the BasicFileAttributes interface.

The file’s basic attributes include file’s date time information such as the creation time, last access time, last modified time. You can also check whether the file is a directory, a regular file, a symbolic link or something else. You can also get the size of the file.

Let’s see the code snippet below:

package org.kodejava.example.nio;

import java.nio.file.Files;
import java.nio.file.Path;
import java.nio.file.Paths;
import java.nio.file.attribute.BasicFileAttributes;

public class FileAttributesDemo {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        String path = "D:\resources\data.txt";

        Path file = Paths.get(path);
        BasicFileAttributes attr =
                Files.readAttributes(file, BasicFileAttributes.class);
        System.out.println("creationTime     = " + attr.creationTime());
        System.out.println("lastAccessTime   = " + attr.lastAccessTime());
        System.out.println("lastModifiedTime = " + attr.lastModifiedTime());

        System.out.println("isDirectory      = " + attr.isDirectory());
        System.out.println("isOther          = " + attr.isOther());
        System.out.println("isRegularFile    = " + attr.isRegularFile());
        System.out.println("isSymbolicLink   = " + attr.isSymbolicLink());
        System.out.println("size             = " + attr.size());
    }
}

The output of the code snippet:

creationTime     = 2012-11-28T00:08:55.290206Z
lastAccessTime   = 2012-11-28T00:08:55.290206Z
lastModifiedTime = 2012-11-28T00:08:55.291206Z
isDirectory      = false
isOther          = false
isRegularFile    = true
isSymbolicLink   = false
size             = 574