Stat Command in Linux
5 min read
stat is a command-line utility that displays detailed information about given files or file systems.
This article explains how to use
The syntax for the
stat command is as follows:
stat [OPTION]... FILE...
stat accepts one or more input
FILE names and includes a number of options that control the command behavior and output.
Let’s take a look at the following example:
The output will look something like this:
File: file.txt Size: 4030 Blocks: 8 IO Block: 4096 regular file Device: 801h/2049d Inode: 13633379 Links: 1 Access: (0644/-rw-r--r--) Uid: ( 1000/ linuxize) Gid: ( 1000/ linuxize) Access: 2019-11-06 09:52:17.991979701 +0100 Modify: 2019-11-06 09:52:17.971979713 +0100 Change: 2019-11-06 09:52:17.971979713 +0100 Birth: -
When invoked without any options,
stat displays the following file information:
- File - The name of the file.
- Size - The size of the file in bytes.
- Blocks - The number of allocated blocks the file takes.
- IO Block - The size in bytes of every block.
- File type - (ex. regular file, directory, symbolic link.)
- Device - Device number in hex and decimal.
- Inode - Inode number.
- Links - Number of hard links.
- Access - File permissions in the numeric and symbolic methods.
- Uid - User ID and name of the owner .
- Gid - Group ID and name of the owner.
- Context - The SELinux security context.
- Access - The last time the file was accessed.
- Modify - The last time the file’s content was modified.
- Change - The last time the file’s attribute or content was changed.
- Birth - File creation time (not supported in Linux).
Displaying Information About the File System
To get information about the file system where the given file resides, instead of information about the file itself, use the
stat -f file.txt
The output of the command will look like this:
File: "package.json" ID: 8eb53097b4494d20 Namelen: 255 Type: ext2/ext3 Block size: 4096 Fundamental block size: 4096 Blocks: Total: 61271111 Free: 25395668 Available: 22265851 Inodes: Total: 15630336 Free: 13979610
stat is invoked with the
-f option, it shows the following information:
- File - The name of the file.
- ID - File system ID in hex.
- Namelen - Maximum length of file names.
- Fundamental block size - The size of each block on the file system.
- Total - Number of total blocks in the file system.
- Free - Number of free blocks in the file system.
- Available - Number of free blocks available to non-root users.
- Total - Number of total inodes in the file system.
- Free - Number of free inodes in the file system.
Dereference (Follow) Symlinks
stat does not follow symlinks . If you run the command on a symlink the output will include information about the symlink, not the file it points to:
File: /etc/resolv.conf -> ../run/systemd/resolve/stub-resolv.conf Size: 39 Blocks: 0 IO Block: 4096 symbolic link Device: 801h/2049d Inode: 8126659 Links: 1 Access: (0777/lrwxrwxrwx) Uid: ( 0/ root) Gid: ( 0/ root) Access: 2019-11-06 21:12:26.875956073 +0100 Modify: 2018-07-24 11:11:48.128794519 +0200 Change: 2018-07-24 11:11:48.128794519 +0200 Birth: -
To dereference (follow) the symlink and display information about the file to which the symlink points, use the
stat -L /etc/resolv.conf
File: /etc/resolv.conf Size: 715 Blocks: 8 IO Block: 4096 regular file Device: 17h/23d Inode: 989 Links: 1 Access: (0644/-rw-r--r--) Uid: ( 101/systemd-resolve) Gid: ( 103/systemd-resolve) Access: 2019-11-06 20:35:25.603689619 +0100 Modify: 2019-11-06 20:35:25.555689733 +0100 Change: 2019-11-06 20:35:25.555689733 +0100 Birth: -
Customizing the Output
stat command has two options that allow you to customize the output according to your needs:
The difference between these two options is that when two or more files are used as operants
--format automatically adds a newline after each operand’s output. The
--printf interprets backslash escapes.
There are many format directives for files and file systems that can be used with
For example, to view only the type of the file, you would run:
stat --format="%F" /dev/null
character special file
You can combine any number of formatting directives and optionally use custom separators between them. The separator can be a single character or a string:
stat --format="%n,%F" /dev/null
/dev/null,character special file
To interpret special characters like newline or tab, use the
stat --printf='Name: %n\nPermissions: %a\n' /etc
\n prints a new line:
Name: /etc Permissions: 755
stat can also display the information in the terse form. This format is useful for parsing by other utilities.
Invoke the command with
--terse) option to print the output in the terse form:
stat -t /etc
/etc 12288 24 41ed 0 0 801 8126465 147 0 0 1573068933 1573068927 1573068927 0 4096
For a complete list of all format directives for files and file systems type,
man stat or
stat --help in your terminal.
stat command prints information about given files and file systems.
In Linux, several other commands can display information about given files, with
ls being the most used one, but it shows only a chunk of the information provided by the
If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment.