Jun 162011
 

sudoThe stat command is really useful to gather information from file, directory and file system.
The basic usage of stat is:

~#stat /etc/passwd
 
File: `/etc/passwd'
Size: 999       	Blocks: 8          IO Block: 4096   regular file
Device: ca00h/51712d	Inode: 845         Links: 1
Access: (0644/-rw-r--r--)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (    0/    root)
Access: 2011-05-26 12:14:41.000000000 +0200
Modify: 2011-05-26 12:14:41.000000000 +0200
Change: 2011-05-26 12:14:41.000000000 +0200

So, without options you can have the following information

File : Size in Bytes
Blocks : Number of blocks used
IO Block : Size in bytes of every block.
Device : The identifier number of your storage device (harddrive, etc.)
Inode : The inode number that the file or directory is linked to.
Access/Modify and change Times : Note that the timestamps also include which time zone that accesses or modifications took place in. in this example +0200


Options

The following are some of the flags and arguments that can be used for the stat command:

-f, --filesystem  display filesystem status instead of file status
-c  --format=FORMAT  use the specified FORMAT instead of the default
-L, --dereference  follow links
-Z, --context print the security context

File system status

 
~# stat -f /
 
  File: "/"
    ID: 64d0ef29968c53b0 Namelen: 255     Type: ext2/ext3
Block size: 4096       Fundamental block size: 4096
Blocks: Total: 4012826    Free: 3440842    Available: 3275692
Inodes: Total: 3701376    Free: 3668155

As you can see the output it’s a bit different with the -f flag you get information on the Type of FS and on the status of the blocks and of inodes (total/free). The -f can be used also with a file in that case the information will be the one of the FS that contains it (i.g. stat -f /etc/passwd

Output Format

With the -c options you can control which information display in the output of the command stat.
For example to print the permissions of all files in letters and octal you can use:

~# stat -c '%A %a %n' *
-rw-r--r-- 644 adduser.conf
-rw-r--r-- 644 adjtime
-rw-r--r-- 644 aliases
drwxr-xr-x 755 alternatives
drwxr-xr-x 755 apache2
drwxr-xr-x 755 apt
-rw-r----- 640 at.deny
-rw-r--r-- 644 bash.bashrc
-rw-r--r-- 644 bash_completion
drwxr-xr-x 755 bash_completion.d
-rw-r--r-- 644 bindresvport.blackli
....

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