namei Man page

NAMEI(1) User Commands NAMEI(1)


namei – follow a pathname until a terminal point is found


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”

For each line of output, namei uses the following characters to iden‐
tify 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, 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.


The original namei program was written by Roger Southwick

The program was rewritten by Karel Zak .


To be discovered.


ls, stat

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

util-linux June 2011 NAMEI(1)