stat manpage

Search topic Section

STAT(2)			   Linux Programmer's Manual		       STAT(2)

       stat, fstat, lstat, fstatat - get file status

       #include <sys/types.h>
       #include <sys/stat.h>
       #include <unistd.h>

       int stat(const char *pathname, struct stat *buf);
       int fstat(int fd, struct stat *buf);
       int lstat(const char *pathname, struct stat *buf);

       #include <fcntl.h>	    /* Definition of AT_* constants */
       #include <sys/stat.h>

       int fstatat(int dirfd, const char *pathname, struct stat *buf,
		   int flags);

   Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

	   /* glibc 2.19 and earlier */ _BSD_SOURCE ||
	   /* Since glibc 2.20 */_DEFAULT_SOURCE ||
	   || /* Since glibc 2.10: */ _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200112L

	   Since glibc 2.10:
	       _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 700 || _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
	   Before glibc 2.10:

       These  functions return information about a file, in the buffer pointed
       to by buf.  No permissions are required on the file itself, but--in the
       case  of stat(), fstatat(), and lstat()--execute (search) permission is
       required on all of the directories in pathname that lead to the file.

       stat() and fstatat() retrieve information about the file pointed to  by
       pathname; the differences for fstatat() are described below.

       lstat()	is  identical to stat(), except that if pathname is a symbolic
       link, then it returns information about the link itself, not  the  file
       that it refers to.

       fstat() is identical to stat(), except that the file about which infor-
       mation is to be retrieved is specified by the file descriptor fd.

       All of these system calls return a stat structure, which	 contains  the
       following fields:

	   struct stat {
	       dev_t	 st_dev;	 /* ID of device containing file */
	       ino_t	 st_ino;	 /* inode number */
	       mode_t	 st_mode;	 /* protection */
	       nlink_t	 st_nlink;	 /* number of hard links */
	       uid_t	 st_uid;	 /* user ID of owner */
	       gid_t	 st_gid;	 /* group ID of owner */
	       dev_t	 st_rdev;	 /* device ID (if special file) */
	       off_t	 st_size;	 /* total size, in bytes */
	       blksize_t st_blksize;	 /* blocksize for filesystem I/O */
	       blkcnt_t	 st_blocks;	 /* number of 512B blocks allocated */

	       /* Since Linux 2.6, the kernel supports nanosecond
		  precision for the following timestamp fields.
		  For the details before Linux 2.6, see NOTES. */

	       struct timespec st_atim;	 /* time of last access */
	       struct timespec st_mtim;	 /* time of last modification */
	       struct timespec st_ctim;	 /* time of last status change */

	   #define st_atime st_atim.tv_sec	/* Backward compatibility */
	   #define st_mtime st_mtim.tv_sec
	   #define st_ctime st_ctim.tv_sec

       Note:  the order of fields in the stat structure varies somewhat across
       architectures.  In addition, the definition above  does	not  show  the
       padding bytes that may be present between some fields on various archi-
       tectures.  Consult the glibc and kernel source code if you need to know
       the details.

       Note:  For  performance and simplicity reasons, different fields in the
       stat structure may contain state	 information  from  different  moments
       during  the  execution  of the system call.  For example, if st_mode or
       st_uid is changed by another process by calling chmod(2)	 or  chown(2),
       stat()  might  return  the old st_mode together with the new st_uid, or
       the old st_uid together with the new st_mode.

       The st_dev field describes the device on which this file resides.  (The
       major(3)	 and  minor(3) macros may be useful to decompose the device ID
       in this field.)

       The st_rdev field describes the device that this	 file  (inode)	repre-

       The  st_size  field gives the size of the file (if it is a regular file
       or a symbolic link) in bytes.  The size	of  a  symbolic	 link  is  the
       length of the pathname it contains, without a terminating null byte.

       The  st_blocks  field  indicates	 the number of blocks allocated to the
       file, 512-byte units.  (This may be smaller than st_size/512  when  the
       file has holes.)

       The  st_blksize	field  gives  the  "preferred" blocksize for efficient
       filesystem I/O.	(Writing to a file in  smaller	chunks	may  cause  an
       inefficient read-modify-rewrite.)

       Not  all	 of  the  Linux	 filesystems implement all of the time fields.
       Some filesystem types allow mounting in such a  way  that  file	and/or
       directory  accesses do not cause an update of the st_atime field.  (See
       noatime, nodiratime, and relatime in mount(8), and related  information
       in mount(2).)  In addition, st_atime is not updated if a file is opened
       with the O_NOATIME; see open(2).

       The field st_atime  is  changed	by  file  accesses,  for  example,  by
       execve(2),  mknod(2), pipe(2), utime(2), and read(2) (of more than zero
       bytes).	Other routines, like mmap(2), may or may not update st_atime.

       The field st_mtime is changed by file modifications,  for  example,  by
       mknod(2),  truncate(2),	utime(2),  and	write(2)  (of  more  than zero
       bytes).	Moreover, st_mtime of a directory is changed by	 the  creation
       or  deletion  of	 files	in  that directory.  The st_mtime field is not
       changed for changes in owner, group, hard link count, or mode.

       The field st_ctime is changed by writing or by setting  inode  informa-
       tion (i.e., owner, group, link count, mode, etc.).

       POSIX  refers to the st_mode bits corresponding to the mask S_IFMT (see
       below) as the file type, the 12 bits corresponding to the mask 07777 as
       the  file mode bits and the least significant 9 bits (0777) as the file
       permission bits.

       The following mask values are defined for the file type of the  st_mode

	   S_IFMT     0170000	bit mask for the file type bit field

	   S_IFSOCK   0140000	socket
	   S_IFLNK    0120000	symbolic link
	   S_IFREG    0100000	regular file
	   S_IFBLK    0060000	block device
	   S_IFDIR    0040000	directory
	   S_IFCHR    0020000	character device
	   S_IFIFO    0010000	FIFO

       Thus, to test for a regular file (for example), one could write:

	   stat(pathname, &sb);
	   if ((sb.st_mode & S_IFMT) == S_IFREG) {
	       /* Handle regular file */

       Because	tests  of  the	above  form  are common, additional macros are
       defined by POSIX to allow the test of the file type in  st_mode	to  be
       written more concisely:

	   S_ISREG(m)  is it a regular file?

	   S_ISDIR(m)  directory?

	   S_ISCHR(m)  character device?

	   S_ISBLK(m)  block device?

	   S_ISFIFO(m) FIFO (named pipe)?

	   S_ISLNK(m)  symbolic link?  (Not in POSIX.1-1996.)

	   S_ISSOCK(m) socket?	(Not in POSIX.1-1996.)

       The preceding code snippet could thus be rewritten as:

	   stat(pathname, &sb);
	   if (S_ISREG(sb.st_mode)) {
	       /* Handle regular file */

       The definitions of most of the above file type test macros are provided
       if any of the following feature test macros is defined: _BSD_SOURCE (in
       glibc  2.19  and earlier), _SVID_SOURCE (in glibc 2.19 and earlier), or
       _DEFAULT_SOURCE (in glibc 2.20 and later).  In addition, definitions of
       all  of the above macros except S_IFSOCK and S_ISSOCK() are provided if
       _XOPEN_SOURCE is defined.  The  definition  of  S_IFSOCK	 can  also  be
       exposed by defining _XOPEN_SOURCE with a value of 500 or greater.

       The definition of S_ISSOCK() is exposed if any of the following feature
       test macros is  defined:	 _BSD_SOURCE  (in  glibc  2.19	and  earlier),
       _DEFAULT_SOURCE	(in  glibc 2.20 and later), _XOPEN_SOURCE with a value
       of 500 or greater, or  _POSIX_C_SOURCE  with  a	value  of  200112L  or

       The  following  mask  values are defined for the file mode component of
       the st_mode field:

	   S_ISUID     04000   set-user-ID bit
	   S_ISGID     02000   set-group-ID bit (see below)
	   S_ISVTX     01000   sticky bit (see below)

	   S_IRWXU     00700   owner has read, write, and execute permission
	   S_IRUSR     00400   owner has read permission
	   S_IWUSR     00200   owner has write permission
	   S_IXUSR     00100   owner has execute permission

	   S_IRWXG     00070   group has read, write, and execute permission
	   S_IRGRP     00040   group has read permission
	   S_IWGRP     00020   group has write permission
	   S_IXGRP     00010   group has execute permission

	   S_IRWXO     00007   others (not in group) have read,	 write,	 and
			       execute permission
	   S_IROTH     00004   others have read permission
	   S_IWOTH     00002   others have write permission
	   S_IXOTH     00001   others have execute permission

       The  set-group-ID bit (S_ISGID) has several special uses.  For a direc-
       tory, it indicates that BSD semantics is to be used for that directory:
       files created there inherit their group ID from the directory, not from
       the effective group ID of the creating process, and directories created
       there will also get the S_ISGID bit set.	 For a file that does not have
       the group execution bit (S_IXGRP) set, the set-group-ID	bit  indicates
       mandatory file/record locking.

       The  sticky  bit	 (S_ISVTX)  on	a  directory means that a file in that
       directory can be renamed or deleted only by the owner of the  file,  by
       the owner of the directory, and by a privileged process.

       The  fstatat()  system call operates in exactly the same way as stat(),
       except for the differences described here.

       If the pathname given in pathname is relative, then it  is  interpreted
       relative	 to  the  directory  referred  to by the file descriptor dirfd
       (rather than relative to the current working directory of  the  calling
       process, as is done by stat() for a relative pathname).

       If  pathname  is relative and dirfd is the special value AT_FDCWD, then
       pathname is interpreted relative to the current	working	 directory  of
       the calling process (like stat()).

       If pathname is absolute, then dirfd is ignored.

       flags  can  either  be 0, or include one or more of the following flags

       AT_EMPTY_PATH (since Linux 2.6.39)
	      If pathname is an empty string, operate on the file referred  to
	      by  dirfd (which may have been obtained using the open(2) O_PATH
	      flag).  If dirfd is AT_FDCWD, the call operates on  the  current
	      working directory.  In this case, dirfd can refer to any type of
	      file, not just a directory.  This flag is Linux-specific; define
	      _GNU_SOURCE to obtain its definition.

       AT_NO_AUTOMOUNT (since Linux 2.6.38)
	      Don't  automount the terminal ("basename") component of pathname
	      if it is a directory that is an automount	 point.	  This	allows
	      the  caller  to  gather attributes of an automount point (rather
	      than the location it would mount).  This flag  can  be  used  in
	      tools  that  scan	 directories to prevent mass-automounting of a
	      directory of automount points.  The AT_NO_AUTOMOUNT flag has  no
	      effect  if  the mount point has already been mounted over.  This
	      flag is Linux-specific; define _GNU_SOURCE to obtain its defini-

	      If  pathname  is a symbolic link, do not dereference it: instead
	      return information about the link	 itself,  like	lstat().   (By
	      default, fstatat() dereferences symbolic links, like stat().)

       See openat(2) for an explanation of the need for fstatat().

       On  success,  zero is returned.	On error, -1 is returned, and errno is
       set appropriately.

       EACCES Search permission is denied for one of the  directories  in  the
	      path prefix of pathname.	(See also path_resolution(7).)

       EBADF  fd is bad.

       EFAULT Bad address.

       ELOOP  Too many symbolic links encountered while traversing the path.

	      pathname is too long.

       ENOENT A	 component of pathname does not exist, or pathname is an empty

       ENOMEM Out of memory (i.e., kernel memory).

	      A component of the path prefix of pathname is not a directory.

	      pathname or fd refers to a file whose  size,  inode  number,  or
	      number  of  blocks  cannot  be represented in, respectively, the
	      types off_t, ino_t, or blkcnt_t.	This error can occur when, for
	      example,	an  application	 compiled on a 32-bit platform without
	      -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 calls stat() on a file whose size exceeds
	      (1<<31)-1 bytes.

       The following additional errors can occur for fstatat():

       EBADF  dirfd is not a valid file descriptor.

       EINVAL Invalid flag specified in flags.

	      pathname is relative and dirfd is a file descriptor referring to
	      a file other than a directory.

       fstatat() was added to Linux in	kernel	2.6.16;	 library  support  was
       added to glibc in version 2.4.

       stat(), fstat(), lstat(): SVr4, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1.2008.

       fstatat(): POSIX.1-2008.

       According to POSIX.1-2001, lstat() on a symbolic link need return valid
       information only in the st_size field and the file type of the  st_mode
       field  of the stat structure.  POSIX.1-2008 tightens the specification,
       requiring lstat() to return valid information in all fields except  the
       mode bits in st_mode.

       Use of the st_blocks and st_blksize fields may be less portable.	 (They
       were introduced in BSD.	The interpretation  differs  between  systems,
       and  possibly on a single system when NFS mounts are involved.)	If you
       need to obtain the definition of the blkcnt_t or blksize_t  types  from
       <sys/stat.h>,  then  define _XOPEN_SOURCE with the value 500 or greater
       (before including any header files).

       POSIX.1-1990 did not describe the S_IFMT, S_IFSOCK,  S_IFLNK,  S_IFREG,
       S_IFBLK,	 S_IFDIR,  S_IFCHR,  S_IFIFO,  S_ISVTX	constants, but instead
       demanded the use of the macros S_ISDIR(), and so on.   The  S_IF*  con-
       stants are present in POSIX.1-2001 and later.

       The  S_ISLNK()  and S_ISSOCK() macros are not in POSIX.1-1996, but both
       are present in POSIX.1-2001; the former is from SVID 4, the latter from

       UNIX V7 (and later systems) had S_IREAD, S_IWRITE, S_IEXEC, where POSIX
       prescribes the synonyms S_IRUSR, S_IWUSR, S_IXUSR.

   Other systems
       Values that have been (or are) in use on various systems:

       hex    name	 ls   octal    description
       f000   S_IFMT	      170000   mask for file type
       0000		      000000   SCO out-of-service inode; BSD
				       unknown type; SVID-v2 and XPG2 have
				       both 0 and 0100000 for ordinary file
       1000   S_IFIFO	 p|   010000   FIFO (named pipe)
       2000   S_IFCHR	 c    020000   character special (V7)
       3000   S_IFMPC	      030000   multiplexed character special (V7)
       4000   S_IFDIR	 d/   040000   directory (V7)
       5000   S_IFNAM	      050000   XENIX named special file with two
				       subtypes, distinguished by st_rdev
				       values 1, 2
       0001   S_INSEM	 s    000001   XENIX semaphore subtype of IFNAM
       0002   S_INSHD	 m    000002   XENIX shared data subtype of IFNAM
       6000   S_IFBLK	 b    060000   block special (V7)
       7000   S_IFMPB	      070000   multiplexed block special (V7)
       8000   S_IFREG	 -    100000   regular (V7)
       9000   S_IFCMP	      110000   VxFS compressed
       9000   S_IFNWK	 n    110000   network special (HP-UX)
       a000   S_IFLNK	 l@   120000   symbolic link (BSD)
       b000   S_IFSHAD	      130000   Solaris shadow inode for ACL (not
				       seen by user space)
       c000   S_IFSOCK	 s=   140000   socket (BSD; also "S_IFSOC" on VxFS)
       d000   S_IFDOOR	 D>   150000   Solaris door
       e000   S_IFWHT	 w%   160000   BSD whiteout (not used for inode)
       0200   S_ISVTX	      001000   sticky bit: save swapped text even
				       after use (V7)
				       reserved (SVID-v2)
				       On nondirectories: don't cache this
				       file (SunOS)
				       On directories: restricted deletion
				       flag (SVID-v4.2)
       0400   S_ISGID	      002000   set-group-ID on execution (V7)
				       for directories: use BSD semantics
				       for propagation of GID
       0400   S_ENFMT	      002000   System V file locking enforcement
				       (shared with S_ISGID)
       0800   S_ISUID	      004000   set-user-ID on execution (V7)
       0800   S_CDF	      004000   directory is a context dependent
				       file (HP-UX)

       A sticky command appeared in Version 32V AT&T UNIX.

       On  Linux,  lstat()  will  generally  not  trigger  automounter action,
       whereas stat() will (but see fstatat(2)).

       For most files under the /proc directory, stat() does  not  return  the
       file  size in the st_size field; instead the field is returned with the
       value 0.

   Timestamp fields
       Older kernels and older standards did not support nanosecond  timestamp
       fields.	  Instead,   there   were  three  timestamp  fields--st_atime,
       st_mtime, and st_ctime--typed as time_t that recorded  timestamps  with
       one-second precision.

       Since  kernel 2.5.48, the stat structure supports nanosecond resolution
       for the three file timestamp fields.  The nanosecond components of each
       timestamp  are  available  via names of the form st_atim.tv_nsec if the
       _BSD_SOURCE or _SVID_SOURCE feature test macro is defined.   Nanosecond
       timestamps  are nowadays standardized, starting with POSIX.1-2008, and,
       starting with version 2.12, glibc also exposes the nanosecond component
       names  if _POSIX_C_SOURCE is defined with the value 200809L or greater,
       or _XOPEN_SOURCE is defined with the value 700 or greater.  If none  of
       the  aforementioned  macros are defined, then the nanosecond values are
       exposed with names of the form st_atimensec.

       Nanosecond timestamps are supported on XFS, JFS, Btrfs, and ext4 (since
       Linux  2.6.23).	Nanosecond timestamps are not supported in ext2, ext3,
       and Reiserfs.  On filesystems that do not support subsecond timestamps,
       the nanosecond fields are returned with the value 0.

   C library/kernel differences
       Over  time,  increases  in  the	size of the stat structure have led to
       three successive versions of stat():  sys_stat()	 (slot	__NR_oldstat),
       sys_newstat()  (slot __NR_stat), and sys_stat64() (slot __NR_stat64) on
       32-bit platforms such as i386.  The first  two  versions	 were  already
       present	in Linux 1.0 (albeit with different names); the last was added
       in Linux 2.4.  Similar remarks apply for fstat() and lstat().

       The kernel-internal versions of the stat structure dealt	 with  by  the
       different versions are, respectively:

		     The original structure, with rather narrow fields, and no

	      stat   Larger st_ino field and padding added to various parts of
		     the structure to allow for future expansion.

	      stat64 Even larger st_ino field, larger st_uid and st_gid fields
		     to accommodate the Linux-2.4 expansion of UIDs  and  GIDs
		     to 32 bits, and various other enlarged fields and further
		     padding in the structure.	(Various  padding  bytes  were
		     eventually	 consumed  in  Linux  2.6,  with the advent of
		     32-bit device IDs and nanosecond components for the time-
		     stamp fields.)

       The  glibc  stat()  wrapper  function hides these details from applica-
       tions, invoking the most recent version of the system call provided  by
       the  kernel, and repacking the returned information if required for old

       On modern 64-bit systems, life is simpler: there	 is  a	single	stat()
       system  call  and  the kernel deals with a stat structure that contains
       fields of a sufficient size.

       The underlying system call employed  by	the  glibc  fstatat()  wrapper
       function	 is  actually  called  fstatat64()  or, on some architectures,

       The following program calls stat() and displays selected fields in  the
       returned stat structure.

       #include <sys/types.h>
       #include <sys/stat.h>
       #include <time.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>

       main(int argc, char *argv[])
	   struct stat sb;

	   if (argc != 2) {
	       fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s <pathname>\n", argv[0]);

	   if (stat(argv[1], &sb) == -1) {

	   printf("File type:		     ");

	   switch (sb.st_mode & S_IFMT) {
	   case S_IFBLK:  printf("block device\n");	       break;
	   case S_IFCHR:  printf("character device\n");	       break;
	   case S_IFDIR:  printf("directory\n");	       break;
	   case S_IFIFO:  printf("FIFO/pipe\n");	       break;
	   case S_IFLNK:  printf("symlink\n");		       break;
	   case S_IFREG:  printf("regular file\n");	       break;
	   case S_IFSOCK: printf("socket\n");		       break;
	   default:	  printf("unknown?\n");		       break;

	   printf("I-node number:	     %ld\n", (long) sb.st_ino);

	   printf("Mode:		     %lo (octal)\n",
		   (unsigned long) sb.st_mode);

	   printf("Link count:		     %ld\n", (long) sb.st_nlink);
	   printf("Ownership:		     UID=%ld   GID=%ld\n",
		   (long) sb.st_uid, (long) sb.st_gid);

	   printf("Preferred I/O block size: %ld bytes\n",
		   (long) sb.st_blksize);
	   printf("File size:		     %lld bytes\n",
		   (long long) sb.st_size);
	   printf("Blocks allocated:	     %lld\n",
		   (long long) sb.st_blocks);

	   printf("Last status change:	     %s", ctime(&sb.st_ctime));
	   printf("Last file access:	     %s", ctime(&sb.st_atime));
	   printf("Last file modification:   %s", ctime(&sb.st_mtime));


       ls(1),  stat(1),	 access(2), chmod(2), chown(2), readlink(2), utime(2),
       capabilities(7), symlink(7)

       This page is part of release 4.04 of the Linux  man-pages  project.   A
       description  of	the project, information about reporting bugs, and the
       latest	 version    of	  this	  page,	   can	   be	  found	    at

Linux				  2015-07-23			       STAT(2)