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STAT(1) General Commands Manual STAT(1)

statdisplay file status

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

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_blksize, st_blocks, and st_flags fields, in that order.

The options are as follows:

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, an equal sign (=) after each socket, and a vertical bar (|) after each that is a FIFO. The use of -F implies -l.
Display information using the specified format. See the FORMATS section for a description of valid formats.
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.
Display output in ls -lT format.
Do not force a newline to appear at the end of each piece of output.
Suppress failure messages if calls to stat(2) or lstat(2) fail.
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.).
Format the output as a line of shell variable assignments.
Display timestamps using the specified format. This format is passed directly to strftime(3).
Display information in a more verbose way.

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.
Sets the fill character for left padding to the 0 character, instead of a 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:

An optional decimal digit string specifying the minimum field width.
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.
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

Display date in strftime(3) format.
Display actual device name.
Display group or user name.
Display the mode of file as in ls -lTd.
Displays the name of file.
Displays the type of file.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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.
A required field specifier, being one of the following:
Device upon which file resides (st_dev).
file's inode number (st_ino).
File type and permissions (st_mode).
Number of hard links to file (st_nlink).
, g
User-id and group-id of file's owner (st_uid, st_gid).
Device number for character and block device special files (st_rdev).
, 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). If the file system does not support birth time, the value is undefined.
The size of file in bytes (st_size).
Number of blocks allocated for file (st_blocks).
Optimal file system I/O operation block size (st_blksize).
User defined flags for file (st_flags).
Inode generation number (st_gen).

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

The name of the file.
The file type, either as in ls -F or in a more descriptive form if the sub field specifier H is given.
The target of a symbolic link.
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 utility exits 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_mtime
1148 1015432481

> sh
$ eval $(stat -s .profile)
$ echo $st_size $st_mtime
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/xfs0
        Type: Character Device
        Major: 51
        Minor: 0

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

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

A stat utility first appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX but disappeared after Version 4 AT&T UNIX. It reappeared in NetBSD 1.6 and has been available since OpenBSD 3.8.

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

September 7, 2019 OpenBSD-current