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

       stat, fstat, lstat - get file status

       #include <&lt;sys/types.h>&gt;
       #include <&lt;sys/stat.h>&gt;
       #include <&lt;unistd.h>&gt;

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

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

       lstat(): _BSD_SOURCE || _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500

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

       stat() stats the file pointed to by path and fills in buf.

       lstat() is identical to stat(), except that if path is a symbolic link,
       then the link itself is stat-ed, not the file that it refers to.

       fstat()  is  identical to stat(), except that the file to be stat-ed 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 file system I/O */
               blkcnt_t  st_blocks;  /* number of blocks allocated */
               time_t    st_atime;   /* time of last access */
               time_t    st_mtime;   /* time of last modification */
               time_t    st_ctime;   /* time of last status change */

       The st_dev field describes the device on which this file resides.

       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 symlink is the length of
       the pathname it contains, without a trailing 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 file
       system  I/O.  (Writing to a file in smaller chunks may cause an ineffi-
       cient read-modify-rewrite.)

       Not all of the Linux file systems implement all  of  the  time  fields.
       Some  file system types allow mounting in such a way that file accesses
       do not cause an update  of  the  st_atime  field.   (See  "noatime"  in

       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 dele-
       tion 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.).

       The following POSIX macros are defined to check the file type using the
       st_mode field:

           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 following flags are defined for the st_mode field:

           lB  l l.  S_IFMT    0170000   bit mask for the file type bit fields
           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     S_ISUID   0004000   set     UID    bit
           S_ISGID   0002000   set-group-ID       bit       (see        below)
           S_ISVTX   0001000   sticky bit (see below) S_IRWXU   00700     mask
           for file owner permissions S_IRUSR   00400     owner has read  per-
           mission     S_IWUSR   00200     owner    has    write    permission
           S_IXUSR   00100     owner       has       execute        permission
           S_IRWXG   00070     mask        for        group        permissions
           S_IRGRP   00040     group        has        read         permission
           S_IWGRP   00020     group        has        write        permission
           S_IXGRP   00010     group       has       execute        permission
           S_IRWXO   00007     mask  for permissions for others (not in group)
           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.

       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 path.  (See also path_resolution(7).)

       EBADF  fd is bad.

       EFAULT Bad address.

       ELOOP  Too many symbolic links encountered while traversing the path.

              File name too long.

       ENOENT A component of the path path does not exist, or the path  is  an
              empty string.

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

              A component of the path is not a directory.

       These system calls conform to SVr4, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001.

       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.)

       POSIX  does  not  describe  the  S_IFMT,  S_IFSOCK,  S_IFLNK,  S_IFREG,
       S_IFBLK, S_IFDIR, S_IFCHR, S_IFIFO, S_ISVTX bits, but  instead  demands
       the  use  of  the  macros S_ISDIR(), etc.  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 SUSv2.

       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:

       l     l     l      l      l.       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          userspace)
       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   non-directories:   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    SysV  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.

   Linux Notes
       Since kernel 2.5.48, the stat structure supports nanosecond  resolution
       for the three file timestamp fields.  Glibc exposes the nanosecond com-
       ponent of each field using names either of the form st_atim.tv_nsec, if
       the  _BSD_SOURCE  or  _SVID_SOURCE feature test macro is defined, or of
       the form st_atimensec, if neither of these macros is defined.  On  file
       systems  that  do  not  support sub-second timestamps, these nanosecond
       fields are returned with the value 0.

       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.

   Underlying kernel interface
       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() (new  in  kernel  2.4;
       slot  __NR_stat64).   The  glibc  stat()  wrapper  function hides these
       details from applications, invoking the most recent version of the sys-
       tem call provided by the kernel, and repacking the returned information
       if required for old binaries.  Similar remarks apply  for  fstat()  and

       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));


       access(2), chmod(2), chown(2), fstatat(2), readlink(2), utime(2), capa-
       bilities(7), symlink(7)

       This  page  is  part of release 3.05 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, and information about reporting  bugs,  can
       be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux                             2007-07-26                           STAT(2)