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readlink(1) [freebsd man page]

STAT(1) 						    BSD General Commands Manual 						   STAT(1)

stat, readlink -- display file status SYNOPSIS
stat [-FHLnq] [-f format | -l | -r | -s | -x] [-t timefmt] [file ...] readlink [-fn] [file ...] DESCRIPTION
The stat utility displays information about the file pointed to by file. Read, write, or execute permissions of the named file are not required, but all directories listed in the pathname leading to the file must be searchable. If no argument is given, stat displays informa- tion about the file descriptor for standard input. When invoked as readlink, only the target of the symbolic link is printed. If the given argument is not a symbolic link and the -f option is not specified, readlink will print nothing and exit with an error. If the -f option is specified, the output is canonicalized by following every symlink in every component of the given path recursively. readlink will resolve both absolute and relative paths, and return the abso- lute pathname corresponding to file. In this case, the argument does not need to be a symbolic link. The information displayed is obtained by calling lstat(2) with the given argument and evaluating the returned structure. The default format displays the st_dev, st_ino, st_mode, st_nlink, st_uid, st_gid, st_rdev, st_size, st_atime, st_mtime, st_ctime, st_birthtime, st_blksize, st_blocks, and st_flags fields, in that order. The options are as follows: -F As in ls(1), display a slash ('/') immediately after each pathname that is a directory, an asterisk ('*') after each that is exe- cutable, an at sign ('@') after each symbolic link, a percent sign ('%') after each whiteout, an equal sign ('=') after each socket, and a vertical bar ('|') after each that is a FIFO. The use of -F implies -l. -H Treat each argument as the hexadecimal representation of an NFS file handle, and use fhstat(2) instead of lstat(2). This requires root privileges. -L Use stat(2) instead of lstat(2). The information reported by stat will refer to the target of file, if file is a symbolic link, and not to file itself. If the link is broken or the target does not exist, fall back on lstat(2) and report information about the link. -n Do not force a newline to appear at the end of each piece of output. -q Suppress failure messages if calls to stat(2) or lstat(2) fail. When run as readlink, error messages are automatically suppressed. -f format Display information using the specified format. See the Formats section for a description of valid formats. -l Display output in ls -lT format. -r Display raw information. That is, for all the fields in the stat structure, display the raw, numerical value (for example, times in seconds since the epoch, etc.). -s Display information in ``shell output'' format, suitable for initializing variables. -x Display information in a more verbose way as known from some Linux distributions. -t timefmt Display timestamps using the specified format. This format is passed directly to strftime(3). Formats Format strings are similar to printf(3) formats in that they start with %, are then followed by a sequence of formatting characters, and end in a character that selects the field of the struct stat which is to be formatted. If the % is immediately followed by one of n, t, %, or @, then a newline character, a tab character, a percent character, or the current file number is printed, otherwise the string is examined for the following: Any of the following optional flags: # Selects an alternate output form for octal and hexadecimal output. Non-zero octal output will have a leading zero, and non-zero hexadecimal output will have ``0x'' prepended to it. + Asserts that a sign indicating whether a number is positive or negative should always be printed. Non-negative numbers are not usu- ally printed with a sign. - Aligns string output to the left of the field, instead of to the right. 0 Sets the fill character for left padding to the '0' character, instead of a space. space Reserves a space at the front of non-negative signed output fields. A '+' overrides a space if both are used. Then the following fields: size An optional decimal digit string specifying the minimum field width. prec An optional precision composed of a decimal point '.' and a decimal digit string that indicates the maximum string length, the number of digits to appear after the decimal point in floating point output, or the minimum number of digits to appear in numeric output. fmt An optional output format specifier which is one of D, O, U, X, F, or S. These represent signed decimal output, octal output, unsigned decimal output, hexadecimal output, floating point output, and string output, respectively. Some output formats do not apply to all fields. Floating point output only applies to timespec fields (the a, m, and c fields). The special output specifier S may be used to indicate that the output, if applicable, should be in string format. May be used in combination with: amc Display date in strftime(3) format. dr Display actual device name. f Display the flags of file as in ls -lTdo. gu Display group or user name. p Display the mode of file as in ls -lTd. N Displays the name of file. T Displays the type of file. Y Insert a `` -> '' into the output. Note that the default output format for Y is a string, but if specified explicitly, these four characters are prepended. sub An optional sub field specifier (high, middle, low). Only applies to the p, d, r, and T output formats. It can be one of the fol- lowing: H ``High'' -- specifies the major number for devices from r or d, the ``user'' bits for permissions from the string form of p, the file ``type'' bits from the numeric forms of p, and the long output form of T. L ``Low'' -- specifies the minor number for devices from r or d, the ``other'' bits for permissions from the string form of p, the ``user'', ``group'', and ``other'' bits from the numeric forms of p, and the ls -F style output character for file type when used with T (the use of L for this is optional). M ``Middle'' -- specifies the ``group'' bits for permissions from the string output form of p, or the ``suid'', ``sgid'', and ``sticky'' bits for the numeric forms of p. datum A required field specifier, being one of the following: d Device upon which file resides (st_dev). i file's inode number (st_ino). p File type and permissions (st_mode). l Number of hard links to file (st_nlink). u, g User ID and group ID of file's owner (st_uid, st_gid). r Device number for character and block device special files (st_rdev). a, m, c, B The time file was last accessed or modified, or when the inode was last changed, or the birth time of the inode (st_atime, st_mtime, st_ctime, st_birthtime). z The size of file in bytes (st_size). b Number of blocks allocated for file (st_blocks). k Optimal file system I/O operation block size (st_blksize). f User defined flags for file. v Inode generation number (st_gen). The following five field specifiers are not drawn directly from the data in struct stat, but are: N The name of the file. R The absolute pathname corresponding to the file. T The file type, either as in ls -F or in a more descriptive form if the sub field specifier H is given. Y The target of a symbolic link. Z Expands to ``major,minor'' from the rdev field for character or block special devices and gives size output for all others. Only the % and the field specifier are required. Most field specifiers default to U as an output form, with the exception of p which defaults to O; a, m, and c which default to D; and Y, T, and N which default to S. EXIT STATUS
The stat and readlink utilities exit 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs. EXAMPLES
If no options are specified, the default format is "%d %i %Sp %l %Su %Sg %r %z "%Sa" "%Sm" "%Sc" "%SB" %k %b %#Xf %N". > stat /tmp/bar 0 78852 -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 0 0 "Jul 8 10:26:03 2004" "Jul 8 10:26:03 2004" "Jul 8 10:28:13 2004" "Jan 1 09:00:00 1970" 16384 0 0 /tmp/bar Given a symbolic link ``foo'' that points from /tmp/foo to /, you would use stat as follows: > stat -F /tmp/foo lrwxrwxrwx 1 jschauma cs 1 Apr 24 16:37:28 2002 /tmp/foo@ -> / > stat -LF /tmp/foo drwxr-xr-x 16 root wheel 512 Apr 19 10:57:54 2002 /tmp/foo/ To initialize some shell variables, you could use the -s flag as follows: > csh % eval set `stat -s .cshrc` % echo $st_size $st_mtimespec 1148 1015432481 > sh $ eval $(stat -s .profile) $ echo $st_size $st_mtimespec 1148 1015432481 In order to get a list of file types including files pointed to if the file is a symbolic link, you could use the following format: $ stat -f "%N: %HT%SY" /tmp/* /tmp/bar: Symbolic Link -> /tmp/foo /tmp/output25568: Regular File /tmp/blah: Directory /tmp/foo: Symbolic Link -> / In order to get a list of the devices, their types and the major and minor device numbers, formatted with tabs and linebreaks, you could use the following format: stat -f "Name: %N%n%tType: %HT%n%tMajor: %Hr%n%tMinor: %Lr%n%n" /dev/* [...] Name: /dev/wt8 Type: Block Device Major: 3 Minor: 8 Name: /dev/zero Type: Character Device Major: 2 Minor: 12 In order to determine the permissions set on a file separately, you could use the following format: > stat -f "%Sp -> owner=%SHp group=%SMp other=%SLp" . drwxr-xr-x -> owner=rwx group=r-x other=r-x In order to determine the three files that have been modified most recently, you could use the following format: > stat -f "%m%t%Sm %N" /tmp/* | sort -rn | head -3 | cut -f2- Apr 25 11:47:00 2002 /tmp/blah Apr 25 10:36:34 2002 /tmp/bar Apr 24 16:47:35 2002 /tmp/foo To display a file's modification time: > stat -f %m /tmp/foo 1177697733 To display the same modification time in a readable format: > stat -f %Sm /tmp/foo Apr 27 11:15:33 2007 To display the same modification time in a readable and sortable format: > stat -f %Sm -t %Y%m%d%H%M%S /tmp/foo 20070427111533 To display the same in UTC: > sh $ TZ= stat -f %Sm -t %Y%m%d%H%M%S /tmp/foo 20070427181533 SEE ALSO
file(1), ls(1), lstat(2), readlink(2), stat(2), printf(3), strftime(3) HISTORY
The stat utility appeared in NetBSD 1.6 and FreeBSD 4.10. AUTHORS
The stat utility was written by Andrew Brown <>. This man page was written by Jan Schaumann <>. BSD
April 22, 2012 BSD
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