stat - macOS


The stat command provides detailed information about files and directories. It’s commonly used to retrieve file attributes, permissions, and usage statistics.


stat [-f format] [-l] [-F format] [-n] [-t format] [-x format] [-c format] [-L] [-p] [-s] [-h] [-z] [--help] [--version] [--] files...


  • -f format: Specify a custom output format using a printf-style string.
  • -l: Display output in long format (similar to ls -l).
  • -F format: Append a file type indicator to file name like ls -F.
  • -n: Do not translate numeric user and group IDs to names.
  • -t format: Display file modification time in specified format (see man strftime).
  • -x format: Display file modification time in Extended Format (like ls -@).
  • -c format: Display file change time in specified format (see man strftime).
  • -L: Follow symbolic links when displaying information about files.
  • -p: Prepend full path for each file.
  • -s: Display file size in blocks.
  • -h: Display file size in human-readable format.
  • -z: Null-terminate output lines.
  • –help: Display help for the command.
  • –version: Display command version.
  • : End of options.


  • Display basic file information: stat file.txt
  • Show long format output: stat -l file.txt
  • Retrieve file modification time in epoch time: stat -f %m file.txt
  • Display file path and size: stat -p -h file.txt
  • Get file ownership details: stat -n file.txt

Common Issues

  • Error when using -L with symbolic links: Ensure the file referenced by the symbolic link exists.
  • Numeric user and group IDs not translating: Use the -n option to prevent translation.


  • Combine with ls: ls -l | stat -c %U %G %X (Display file owner, group, and access time)
  • Use in scripts: if [ $(stat -c %U file.txt) = "admin" ]; then echo "File owned by admin"; fi (Check file ownership)