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'.

       -Z, --context
           Show security context of the file or "?" if not available.
           The support for security contexts is optional and does not
           have to be compiled to the namei binary.

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

       -V, --version
           Print version 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)

REPORTING BUGS         top

       For bug reports, use the issue tracker at

AVAILABILITY         top

       The namei command is part of the util-linux package which can be
       downloaded from Linux Kernel Archive
       <>. 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
       2024-06-14. (At that time, the date of the most recent commit
       that was found in the repository was 2024-06-10.) 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 the page,
       or you have corrections or improvements to the information in
       this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page),
       send a mail to

util-linux 2.41.devel-537-e... 2024-04-04                       NAMEI(1)

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