STAT(1) BSD General Commands Manual STAT(1)NAME
stat, readlink — 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 permissions 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 path‐
name 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.
-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.
-n Do not force a newline to appear at the end of each piece of out‐
-q Suppress failure messages if calls to stat(2) or lstat(2) fail.
When run as readlink, error messages are automatically sup‐
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”, suitable for initializing
-x Display information in a more verbose way as known from some
Display timestamps using the specified format. This format is
passed directly to strftime(3).
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 octal and hexadecimal out‐
put. 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
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
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 explic‐
itly, 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
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
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
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 are:
N The name of 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 charac‐
ter 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 and readlink utilities exit 0 on success, and >0 if an error
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_mtimespec
$ eval $(stat -s .profile)
$ echo $st_size $st_mtimespec
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/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
To display a file's modification time:
> stat -f %m /tmp/foo
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
To display the same in UTC:
$ TZ= stat -f %Sm -t %Y%m%d%H%M%S /tmp/foo
SEE ALSOfile(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.
The stat utility was written by Andrew Brown ⟨atatat@NetBSD.org⟩. This
man page was written by Jan Schaumann ⟨jschauma@NetBSD.org⟩.
BSD April 24, 2010 BSD