fgetxattr - Linux


The fgetxattr command retrieves extended attributes associated with a file or directory. Extended attributes are used to store additional metadata about a file, such as security labels, file type information, or other application-specific data.


fgetxattr [-d] [-v] [-m PATTERN] [-x PATTERN] [-h] FILE...


  • -d: Display extended attributes in a human-readable format.
  • -v: Display all extended attributes, including hidden ones.
  • -m PATTERN: Match extended attributes with a given regular expression pattern.
  • -x PATTERN: Exclude extended attributes that match a given regular expression pattern.
  • -h: Display a help message and exit.


  • Get all extended attributes for a file:
fgetxattr myfile
  • Get a specific extended attribute in a human-readable format:
fgetxattr -d myfile user.name
  • Match all extended attributes containing the string "security":
fgetxattr -m security myfile
  • Exclude extended attributes with names starting with "@" (a common prefix for hidden attributes):
fgetxattr -x @ myfile

Common Issues

  • Error: fgetxattr: Invalid argument
    This error occurs when trying to get extended attributes for a file that does not exist or when the file permissions do not allow reading extended attributes.
  • Error: fgetxattr: No such file or directory
    This error occurs when trying to get extended attributes for a file that does not exist.


  • Use fgetxattr with xattr to set, get, and remove extended attributes.
  • Combine fgetxattr with find to search for files with specific extended attributes.

Related Commands

  • chattr: Change file attributes.
  • setfattr: Set extended attributes.
  • removexattr: Remove extended attributes.
  • getfattr: Get file attributes.