getdirentries - Linux


getdirentries is a Linux command-line utility used to retrieve entries from a directory in a format that is compatible with the getdents(2) system call. It is commonly used in conjunction with other low-level file I/O operations to inspect and manipulate directory contents.


getdirentries [-fnS] [-o offset] [-c count] directory


  • -f: Perform a fast lookup, which may skip some unsupported file types.
  • -n: Display entries in long form, including file type and file size.
  • -S: Sort entries by name.
  • -o offset: Set the file offset to start reading from within the directory.
  • -c count: Specify the maximum number of entries to read.


Simple usage:

getdirentries ~/documents

Display entries in long form:

getdirentries -n ~/Downloads

Sort entries by name:

getdirentries -S /usr/bin

Read specific entries from offset:

getdirentries -o 512 -c 20 /home

Common Issues

  • Permissions: Ensure that you have proper read permissions for the specified directory.
  • Invalid file type: getdirentries may fail if the directory contains unsupported file types (e.g., character devices).
  • Truncated results: If the specified entry count is smaller than the actual number of entries, the output will be truncated.


getdirentries can be combined with other commands to perform complex file operations. For example:

Using ls to display file details:

getdirentries -n /var/log | ls -al

Using grep to search for specific entries:

getdirentries -c 50 /etc | grep '*.conf'

Related Commands

  • ls: Display directory contents.
  • find: Find files based on various criteria.
  • readdir: Get the next entry from a directory stream.