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STAT(1)                 FreeBSD General Commands Manual                STAT(1)

     stat, readlink - display file status

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

     -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

     -q      Suppress failure messages if calls to stat(2) or lstat(2) fail.
             When run as readlink, error messages are automatically

     -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).

     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

     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

     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
             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 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 (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

             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.

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

     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

     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:

           > sh
           $ TZ= stat -f %Sm -t %Y%m%d%H%M%S /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 <>.

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE         April 22, 2012         FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE


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