follow a pathname until a terminal point is found


Resolve the pathnames specified as the argument parameters

>_ namei [path/to/a] [path/to/b] [path/to/c]

Display the results in a long-listing format

>_ namei --long [path/to/a] [path/to/b] [path/to/c]

Show the mode bits of each file type in the style of ls

>_ namei --modes [path/to/a] [path/to/b] [path/to/c]

Show owner and group name of each file

>_ namei --owners [path/to/a] [path/to/b] [path/to/c]

Don't follow symlinks while resolving

>_ namei --nosymlinks [path/to/a] [path/to/b] [path/to/c]


namei [options] pathname...


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.


-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.


To be discovered.


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


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


The original namei program was written by Roger Southwick <>.

The program was rewritten by Karel Zak <>.

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