attr_multi - Linux


attr_multi extracts multiple attribute values from files and directories, providing a versatile solution for retrieving metadata and system information. It is particularly useful in scripting environments and for gathering data for analysis or reporting.


attr_multi [-a] [-h] [-l] [-n] [-r] [-s] [-u] [-v] [-x] FILE...


  • -a: Show all attributes for each file, including standard and extended attributes.
  • -h: Do not follow symbolic links.
  • -l: Display the file size in bytes.
  • -n: Do not print the file name or path.
  • -r: Recursively traverse subdirectories.
  • -s: Suppress line breaks between attributes.
  • -u: Display only unique attributes within a file.
  • -v: Display extended attribute values as ASCII text.
  • -x: Filter out attributes with empty values.


Simple Attribute Extraction:

attr_multi file.txt

Output: Doe
system.creation_time=Mon Dec 18 16:32:48 2022

Recursive Search with All Attributes:

attr_multi -r -a /path/to/directory

Filter Empty Attributes and Unique Values:

attr_multi -x -u file.txt

Common Issues

  • No Output for Symbolic Links: Use -h to prevent following symbolic links.
  • Empty Values: Use -x to suppress attributes with empty values.
  • Permission Denied: Ensure sufficient permissions to access the files or directories.


  • Use in conjunction with grep or awk to filter or process attribute values.
  • Combine with find to search directories for specific attributes.
  • Incorporate into scripts for automated data extraction or analysis.

Related Commands

  • getfattr
  • setfattr
  • lsattr