What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.

Delete that bloated snippets file you've been using and share your personal repository with the world. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

Get involved!

You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.

First-time OpenID users will be automatically assigned a username which can be changed after signing in.

UpGuard checks and validates configurations for every major OS, network device, and cloud provider.

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for:



May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

Top Tags



Commands tagged stat from sorted by
Terminal - Commands tagged stat - 28 results
F=bigdata.xz; lsof -o0 -o -Fo $F | awk -Ft -v s=$(stat -c %s $F) '/^o/{printf("%d%%\n", 100*$2/s)}'
2015-09-19 22:22:43
User: flatcap
Functions: awk stat

Imagine you've started a long-running process that involves piping data,

but you forgot to add the progress-bar option to a command.


xz -dc bigdata.xz | complicated-processing-program > summary


This command uses lsof to see how much data xz has read from the file.

lsof -o0 -o -Fo FILENAME

Display offsets (-o), in decimal (-o0), in parseable form (-Fo)

This will output something like:






Process id (p), File Descriptor (f), Offset (o)


We stat the file to get its size

stat -c %s FILENAME


Then we plug the values into awk.

Split the line at the letter t: -Ft

Define a variable for the file's size: -s=$(stat...)

Only work on the offset line: /^o/


Note this command was tested using the Linux version of lsof.

Because it uses lsof's batch option (-F) it may be portable.


Thanks to @unhammer for the brilliant idea.

stat -c'%s %n' **/* | sort -n
echo FileName | perl -nlE'sleep 1 while time-(stat)[10]<10' && echo DONE
2015-05-09 14:58:41
User: pung96
Functions: echo perl

perl version of "Wait for file to stop changing"

When "FileName" has not been changed for last 10 seconds, then print "DONE"

"10" in "(stat)[10]" means ctime.

One have other options like atime, mtime and others. http://perldoc.perl.org/functions/stat.html

while [ $(( $(date +%s) - $(stat -c %Y FILENAME) )) -lt 10 ]; do sleep 1; done; echo DONE
2015-05-09 12:30:13
User: flatcap
Functions: date echo sleep stat

This loop will finish if a file hasn't changed in the last 10 seconds.


It checks the file's modification timestamp against the clock.

If 10 seconds have elapsed without any change to the file, then the loop ends.


This script will give a false positive if there's a 10 second delay between updates,

e.g. due to network congestion


How does it work?

'date +%s' gives the current time in seconds

'stat -c %Y' gives the file's last modification time in seconds

'$(( ))' is bash's way of doing maths

'[ X -lt 10 ]' tests the result is Less Than 10

otherwise sleep for 1 second and repeat


Note: Clever as this script is, inotify is smarter.

FILE=file_name; CHUNK=$((64*1024*1024)); SIZE=$(stat -c "%s" $FILE); for ((i=0; i < $SIZE; i+=$CHUNK)); do losetup --find --show --offset=$i --sizelimit=$CHUNK $FILE; done
2014-10-03 13:18:19
User: flatcap
Functions: losetup stat

It's common to want to split up large files and the usual method is to use split(1).

If you have a 10GiB file, you'll need 10GiB of free space.

Then the OS has to read 10GiB and write 10GiB (usually on the same filesystem).

This takes AGES.


The command uses a set of loop block devices to create fake chunks, but without making any changes to the file.

This means the file splitting is nearly instantaneous.

The example creates a 1GiB file, then splits it into 16 x 64MiB chunks (/dev/loop0 .. loop15).


Note: This isn't a drop-in replacement for using split. The results are block devices.

tar and zip won't do what you expect when given block devices.


These commands will work:

hexdump /dev/loop4


gzip -9 < /dev/loop6 > part6.gz


cat /dev/loop10 > /media/usb/part10.bin
function findOlderThan () { find . -mmin -$((($(date "+%s") - $(stat -c %Y $1))/60)) -type f ; }
2014-08-29 17:52:34
User: RobertDeRose
Functions: date find stat
Tags: find date stat

This function will find the modification time in unix_time of the given file, then calculate the number of minutes from now to then and then find all files modified in that range.

find . -name "pattern" -exec stat -c%s {} \; | awk '{total += $1} END {print total}'
2014-01-15 11:07:09
User: Koobiac
Functions: awk find stat

Find files and calculate size with stat of result in shell

find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 stat -c'%Y :%y %12s %n' | sort -nr | cut -d: -f2- | head
2013-08-03 09:53:46
User: HerbCSO
Functions: cut find sort stat xargs

Goes through all files in the directory specified, uses `stat` to print out last modification time, then sorts numerically in reverse, then uses cut to remove the modified epoch timestamp and finally head to only output the last 10 modified files.

Note that on a Mac `stat` won't work like this, you'll need to use either:

find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 stat -f '%m%t%Sm %12z %N' | sort -nr | cut -f2- | head

or alternatively do a `brew install coreutils` and then replace `stat` with `gstat` in the original command.

alias LS='find -mount -maxdepth 1 -printf "%.5m %10M %#9u:%-9g %#5U:%-5G %TF_%TR %CF_%CR %AF_%AR %#15s [%Y] %p\n" 2>/dev/null'
2013-02-06 17:54:14
User: AskApache
Functions: alias

This alias is super-handy for me because it quickly shows the details of each file in the current directory. The output is nice because it is sortable, allowing you to expand this basic example to do something amazing like showing you a list of the newest files, the largest files, files with bad perms, etc..

A recursive alias would be:

alias LSR='find -mount -printf "%.5m %10M %#9u:%-9g %#5U:%-5G %TF_%TR %CF_%CR %AF_%AR %#15s [%Y] %p\n" 2>/dev/null'

From: http://www.askapache.com/linux/bash_profile-functions-advanced-shell.html

find . -type f -exec stat -f '%m %N' {} \; | sort -n
testt(){ o=abcdefghLkprsStuwxOGN;echo $@;for((i=0;i<${#o};i++));do c=${o:$i:1};test -$c $1 && help test | sed "/^ *-$c/!d;1q;s/^[^T]*/-$c /;s/ if/ -/";done; }
2012-02-21 16:54:53
User: AskApache
Functions: echo sed test

Applies each file operator using the built-in test.

testt /home/askapache/.sq


-a True - file exists.

-d True - file is a directory.

-e True - file exists.

-r True - file is readable by you.

-s True - file exists and is not empty.

-w True - the file is writable by you.

-x True - the file is executable by you.

-O True - the file is effectively owned by you.

-G True - the file is effectively owned by your group.

-N True - the file has been modified since it was last read.

Full Function:

testt ()


local dp;

until [ -z "${1:-}" ]; do


[[ ! -a "$1" ]] && dp="$PWD/$dp";

command ls -w $((${COLUMNS:-80}-20)) -lA --color=tty -d "$dp";

[[ -d "$dp" ]] && find "$dp" -mount -depth -wholename "$dp" -printf '%.5m %10M %#15s %#9u %-9g %#5U %-5G %Am/%Ad/%AY %Cm/%Cd/%CY %Tm/%Td/%TY [%Y] %p\n' -a -quit 2> /dev/null;

for f in a b c d e f g h L k p r s S t u w x O G N;


test -$f "$dp" && help test | sed "/-$f F/!d" | sed -e 's#^[\t ]*-\([a-zA-Z]\{1\}\) F[A-Z]*[\t ]* True if#-\1 "'$dp'" #g';





pv -petrs $(stat -c %s file.iso) file.iso | dd bs=1M oflag=sync of=/dev/sdX
grep "cpu " /proc/stat | awk -F ' ' '{total = $2 + $3 + $4 + $5} END {print "idle \t used\n" $5*100/total "% " $2*100/total "%"}'
2012-01-21 04:12:50
User: Goez
Functions: awk grep

This command displays the CPU idle + used time using stats from /proc/stat.

ls -trF | grep -v \/ | tail -n 1
2011-09-14 20:05:37
User: mrpollo
Functions: grep ls tail
Tags: find stat mtime

Sort by time and Reverse to get Ascending order, then display a marker next to the a file, negate directory and select only 1 result

fn=$(find . -type f -printf "%T@\t%p\n"|sort -n|tail -1|cut -f2); echo $(date -r "$fn") "$fn"
find . -printf "%T@ %p\n" | sed -e 1d | while read ts fn; do ts=${ts%.*}; if [ $ts -ge ${gts:-0} ]; then gts=$ts; echo `date -d @$gts` $fn; fi; done
echo $(( $( date +%s ) - $( stat -c %Y * | sort -nr | head -n 1 ) ))
FILE=`ls -ltr /var/lib/pgsql/backups/daily/ | tail -n1 | awk '{print $NF}'`; TIME=`stat -c %Y /var/lib/pgsql/backups/daily/$FILE`; NOW=`date +%s`; echo $((NOW-TIME))
find . -type f | while read line; do NEW_TS=`date -d@$((\`stat -c '%Y' $line\` + <seconds> )) '+%Y%m%d%H%M.%S'`; touch -t $NEW_TS ${line}; done
2010-11-18 14:03:32
User: angleto
Functions: find read touch

Increase the modification date for the files selected with the find command.

ontouchdo(){ while :; do a=$(stat -c%Y "$1"); [ "$b" != "$a" ] && b="$a" && sh -c "$2"; sleep 1; done }
2010-10-22 23:25:12
User: putnamhill
Functions: sh sleep stat
Tags: stat

This is useful if you'd like to see the output of a script while you edit it. Each time you save the file the command is executed. I thought for sure something like this already exists - and it probably does. I'm on an older system and tend to be missing some useful things.


ontouchdo yourscript 'clear; yourscript somefiletoparse'

Edit yourscript in a separate window and see new results each time you save.

ontouchdo crufty.html 'clear; xmllint --noout crufty.html 2>&1 | head'

Keep editing krufty.html until the xmllint window is empty.

Note: Mac/bsd users should use stat -f%m. If you don't have stat, you can use perl -e '$f=shift; @s=stat($f); print "$s[9]\n";' $1

package=$1; list=/var/lib/dpkg/info/${package}.list; inst=$(stat "$list" -c %X); cat $list | (while read file; do if [ -f "$file" ];then acc=$(stat "$file" -c %X); if [ $inst -lt $acc ]; then echo used $file; exit 0; fi; fi; done; exit 1)
2010-09-20 18:10:19
User: pipeliner
Functions: cat echo exit read stat
Tags: apt dpkg date stat

This script compares the modification date of /var/lib/dpkg/info/${package}.list and all the files mentioned there.

It could be wrong on noatime partitions.

Here is non-oneliner:




inst=$(stat "$list" -c %X);

cat $list |


while read file; do

if [ -f "$file" ]; then

acc=$(stat "$file" -c %X);

if [ $inst -lt $acc ]; then

echo used $file

exit 0




exit 1


statt(){ C=c;stat --h|sed '/Th/,/NO/!d;/%/!d'|while read l;do p=${l/% */};[ $p == %Z ]&&C=fc&&echo ^FS:^;echo "`stat -$C $p \"$1\"` ^$p^${l#%* }";done|column -ts^; }
2010-06-11 23:31:03
User: AskApache
Functions: column read sed

This shows every bit of information that stat can get for any file, dir, fifo, etc. It's great because it also shows the format and explains it for each format option.

If you just want stat help, create this handy alias 'stath' to display all format options with explanations.

alias stath="stat --h|sed '/Th/,/NO/!d;/%/!d'"

To display on 2 lines:

( F=/etc/screenrc N=c IFS=$'\n'; for L in $(sed 's/%Z./%Z\n/'<<<`stat --h|sed -n '/^ *%/s/^ *%\(.\).*$/\1:%\1/p'`); do G=$(echo "stat -$N '$L' \"$F\""); eval $G; N=fc;done; )

For a similarly powerful stat-like function optimized for pretty output (and can sort by any field), check out the "lll" function


From my .bash_profile ->


find $PWD -maxdepth 1 -printf '%.5m %10M %#9u:%-9g %#5U:%-5G [%AD | %TD | %CD] [%Y] %p\n'

I love this function because it tells me everything I want to know about files, more than stat, more than ls. It's very useful and infinitely expandable.

find $PWD -maxdepth 1 -printf '%.5m %10M %#9u:%-9g %#5U:%-5G [%AD | %TD | %CD] [%Y] %p\n' | sort -rgbS 50%

00761 drwxrw---x askapache:askapache 777:666 [06/10/10 | 06/10/10 | 06/10/10] [d] /web/cg/tmp

The key is:

# -printf '%.5m %10M %#9u:%-9g %#5U:%-5G [%AD | %TD | %CD] [%Y] %p\n'

which believe it or not took me hundreds of tweaking before I was happy with the output.

You can easily use this within a function to do whatever you want.. This simple function works recursively if you call it with -r as an argument, and sorts by file permissions.

lsl(){ O="-maxdepth 1";sed -n '/-r/!Q1'<<<$@ &&O=;find $PWD $O -printf '%.5m %10M %#9u:%-9g %#5U:%-5G [%AD | %TD | %CD] [%Y] %p\n'|sort -rgbS 50%; }

Personally I'm using this function because:

lll () { local a KS="1 -r -g"; sed -n '/-sort=/!Q1' <<< $@ && KS=`sed 's/.*-sort=\(.*\)/\1/g'<<<$@`; find $PWD -maxdepth 1 -printf '%.5m %10M %#9u:%-9g %#5U:%-5G [%AD | %TD | %CD] [%Y] %p\n'|sort -k$KS -bS 50%; }

# i can sort by user

lll -sort=3

# or sort by group reversed

lll -sort=4 -r

# and sort by modification time

lll -sort=6

If anyone wants to help me make this function handle multiple dirs/files like ls, go for it and I would appreciate it.. Something very minimal would be awesome.. maybe like:

for a; do lll $a; done

Note this uses the latest version of GNU find built from source, easy to build from gnu ftp tarball. Taken from my http://www.askapache.com/linux-unix/bash_profile-functions-advanced-shell.html