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

     readlink, stat -- display file status

     stat [-FLnq] [-f format | -l | -r | -s | -x] [-t timefmt] [file ...]
     readlink [-n] [file ...]

     The stat utility displays information about the file pointed to by file.  Read, write or execute per-missions permissions
     missions of the named file are not required, but all directories listed in the path name 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, readlink will print nothing and exit with an error.

     The information displayed is obtained by calling lstat(2) with the given argument and evaluating the
     returned structure.

     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 per-cent percent
             cent 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 epoch, etc.).

     -s      Display information in ``shell output'', suitable for initializing variables.

     -t timefmt
             Display timestamps using the specified format.  This format is passed directly to strftime(3).

     -x      Display information in a more verbose way as known from some Linux distributions.

     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 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 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.

             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 following:

             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.

             i       file's inode number.

             p       File type and permissions.

             l       Number of hard links to file.

             u, g    User ID and group ID of file's owner.

             r       Device number for character and block device special files.

             a, m, c, B
                     The time file was last accessed or modified, of when the inode was last changed, or the
                     birth time of the inode.

             z       The size of file in bytes.

             b       Number of blocks allocated for file.

             k       Optimal file system I/O operation block size.

             f       User defined flags for file.

             v       Inode generation number.

             The following four field specifiers are not drawn directly from the data in struct stat, but

             N       The name of the file.

             T       The file type, either as in ls -F or in a more descriptive form if the sub field speci-fier specifier
                     fier 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.

     The stat and readlink utilities exit 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

     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 the kind of files 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 follow-ing following
     ing format:

           > stat -f "%m%t%Sm %N" /tmp/* | sort -rn | head -3 | cut -f2-Apr -f2Apr
           Apr 25 11:47:00 2002 /tmp/blah
           Apr 25 10:36:34 2002 /tmp/bar
           Apr 24 16:47:35 2002 /tmp/foo

     file(1), ls(1), lstat(2), readlink(2), stat(2), printf(3), strftime(3)

     The stat utility appeared in NetBSD 1.6 and FreeBSD 4.10.

     The stat utility was written by Andrew Brown <>.  This man page was written by Jan
     Schaumann <>.

BSD                               May 8, 2003                              BSD

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