STAT(1) BSD General Commands Manual STAT(1)
stat, readlink -- display file status
stat [-FLnq] [-f format | -l | -r | -s | -x] [-t timefmt] [file ...]
readlink [-fnqsv] [file ...]
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
information 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 absolute 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 evalu-
ating 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 executable, 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.
-f format Display information using the specified format. See the FORMATS section for a
description of valid formats.
-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.
-l Display output in ls -lT format.
-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.
-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
-s Display information in ``shell output'', suitable for initializing variables.
When run as readlink, suppress error messages.
-t timefmt Display timestamps using the specified format. This format is passed directly
-v Turn off quiet mode.
-x Display information in a more verbose way as known from some Linux distribu-
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 string, octal and hexadecimal output. String
output will be encoded in vis(3) style. Non-zero octal output will have a leading
zero. 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 usually 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
fmt An optional output format specifier which is one of D, O, U, X, F, or S. These rep-
resent 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 applica-
ble, should be in string format. May be used in combination with
amc Display date in strftime(3) format.
dr Display actual device name.
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
sub An optional sub field specifier (high, middle, or low). Only applies to the p, d,
r, T, N, and z output formats. It can be one of the following:
H ``High'' -- depending on the datum:
d, r Major number for devices
p ``User'' bits from the string form of permissions or the file ``type''
bits from the numeric forms
T The long output form of file type
N Directory path of the file, similar to what dirname(1) would show
z File size, rounded to the nearest gigabyte
M ``Middle'' -- depending on the datum:
p The ``group'' bits from the string form of permissions or the
``suid'', ``sgid'', and ``sticky'' bits from the numeric forms
z File size, rounded to the nearest megabyte
L ``Low'' -- depending on the datum:
r, d Minor number for devices
p The ``other'' bits from the string form of permissions or the
``user'', ``group'', and ``other'' bits from the numeric forms
T The ls -F style output character for file type (the use of L here is
N Base filename of the file, similar to what basename(1) would show
z File size, rounded to the nearest kilobyte
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,
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 (st_flags).
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 spe-
cial 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.
stat exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurred.
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
This example produces output very similar to that from find ... -ls (except that find(1)
displays the time in a different format, and find(1) sometimes adds one or more spaces after
the comma in ``major,minor'' for device nodes):
> stat -f "%7i %6b %-11Sp %3l %-17Su %-17Sg %9Z %Sm %N%SY" /tmp/bar
78852 0 -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 0 Jul 8 10:26:03 2004 /tmp/bar
> find /tmp/bar -ls -exit
78852 0 -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 0 Jul 8 2004 /tmp/bar
This example produces output very similar to that from ls -lTd (except that ls(1) adjusts
the column spacing differently when listing multiple files, and ls(1) adds at least one
space after the comma in ``major,minor'' for device nodes):
> stat -f "%-11Sp %l %Su %Sg %Z %Sm %N%SY" /tmp/bar
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 0 Jul 8 10:26:03 2004 /tmp/bar
> ls -lTd /tmp/bar
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 0 Jul 8 10:26:03 2004 /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:
% eval set `stat -s .cshrc`
% echo $st_size $st_mtime
$ eval $(stat -s .profile)
$ echo $st_size $st_mtime
In order to get a list of the kind of files including files pointed to if the file is a sym-
bolic link, you could use the following format:
$ stat -f "%N: %HT%SY" /tmp/*
/tmp/bar: Symbolic Link -> /tmp/foo
/tmp/output25568: Regular File
/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/*
Type: Block Device
Type: Character Device
In order to determine the permissions set on a file separately, you could use the following
> 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
User names, group names, and file names that contain spaces or other special characters may
be encoded in vis(3) style, using the # modifier:
> ln -s 'target with spaces' 'link with spaces'
> stat -f "%#N%#SY" 'link with spaces'
link\swith\sspaces -> target\swith\sspaces
basename(1), dirname(1), file(1), ls(1), lstat(2), readlink(2), stat(2), printf(3),
The stat utility appeared in NetBSD 1.6.
The stat utility was written by Andrew Brown <atatat@NetBSD.org>. This man page was written
by Jan Schaumann <jschauma@NetBSD.org>.
BSD September 22, 2011 BSD