namei(1) — Linux manual page


NAMEI(1)                      User Commands                     NAMEI(1)

NAME         top

       namei - follow a pathname until a terminal point is found

SYNOPSIS         top

       namei [options] pathname...

DESCRIPTION         top

       namei interprets its arguments as pathnames to any type of Unix
       file (symlinks, files, directories, and so forth).  namei then
       follows each pathname until an endpoint is found (a file, a
       directory, a device node, etc).  If it finds a symbolic link, it
       shows the link, and starts following it, indenting the output to
       show the context.

       This program is useful for finding "too many levels of symbolic
       links" problems.

       For each line of output, namei uses the following characters to
       identify the file type found:

          f: = the pathname currently being resolved
           d = directory
           l = symbolic link (both the link and its contents are output)
           s = socket
           b = block device
           c = character device
           p = FIFO (named pipe)
           - = regular file
           ? = an error of some kind

       namei prints an informative message when the maximum number of
       symbolic links this system can have has been exceeded.

OPTIONS         top

       -l, --long
              Use the long listing format (same as -m -o -v).

       -m, --modes
              Show the mode bits of each file type in the style of
              ls(1), for example 'rwxr-xr-x'.

       -n, --nosymlinks
              Don't follow symlinks.

       -o, --owners
              Show owner and group name of each file.

       -v, --vertical
              Vertically align the modes and owners.

       -x, --mountpoints
              Show mountpoint directories with a 'D' rather than a 'd'.

       -V, --version
              Display version information and exit.

       -h, --help
              Display help text and exit.

BUGS         top

       To be discovered.

AUTHORS         top

       The original namei program was written by Roger Southwick

       The program was rewritten by Karel Zak <>.

SEE ALSO         top

       ls(1), stat(1), symlink(7)

AVAILABILITY         top

       The namei command is part of the util-linux package and is
       available from

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
       utilities) project.  Information about the project can be found
       at ⟨⟩.  If you
       have a bug report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨git://⟩ on
       2021-03-21.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit
       that was found in the repository was 2021-03-19.)  If you
       discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page,
       or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for
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       information in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original
       manual page), send a mail to

util-linux                      June 2011                       NAMEI(1)

Pages that refer to this page: symlink(2)symlink(7)