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STAT(1) NetBSD General Commands Manual STAT(1)
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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 evaluating the returned structure. The default format dis-
plays 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 sym-
bolic 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
-q Suppress failure messages if calls to stat(2) or lstat(2)
fail. When run as readlink, error messages are automati-
-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 ini-
tializing variables. When run as readlink, suppress error
messages. This is equivalent to specifying
FMT="st_dev=%d st_ino=%i st_mode=%#p st_nlink=%l st_uid=%u st_gid=%g"
FMT="$FMT st_rdev=%r st_size=%z st_atime=%Sa st_mtime=%Sm st_ctime=%Sc"
FMT="$FMT st_birthtime=%SB st_blksize=%k st_blocks=%b st_flags=%f"
stat -t %s -f "$FMT" .
Note that if you use a timeformat that contains embedded
whitespace or shell meta-characters you will need to
include appropriate quoting so the -s output remains valid.
-t timefmt Display timestamps using the specified format. This format
is passed directly to strftime(3) with the extension that
%f prints nanoseconds if available.
-v Turn off quiet mode.
-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 for-
matted. 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 follow-
Any of the following optional flags:
# Selects an alternate output form for string, octal and hexadeci-
mal 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
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
prec An optional precision composed of a decimal point `.' and a deci-
mal 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 represent signed decimal output, octal output,
unsigned decimal output, hexadecimal output, floating point out-
put, and string output, respectively. Some output formats do not
apply to all fields. Floating point output only applies to time-
spec 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 with the extension
that %f prints nanoseconds if available.
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 explic-
itly, these four characters are prepended.
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 permis-
sions 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 permis-
sions 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 optional)
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,
r Device number for character and block device special
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
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 descrip-
tive 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 char-
acter or block special devices and gives size output for
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 utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
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
> 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 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/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 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
User names, group names, and file names that contain spaces or other spe-
cial 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),
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>.
NetBSD 9.1 September 19, 2017 NetBSD 9.1