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Perl in a Nutshell

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Function Reference
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stat file

Returns a 13-element list giving the statistics for a file, indicated by either a filehandle or an expression that gives its name. It's typically used as follows:

            = stat $filename;
Not all fields are supported on all filesystem types. Here are the meanings of the fields:

devDevice number of filesystem
inoInode number
modeFile mode (type and permissions)
nlinkNumber of (hard) links to the file
uidNumeric user ID of file's owner
gidNumeric group ID of file's owner
rdevThe device identifier (special files only)
sizeTotal size of file, in bytes
atimeLast access time since the epoch
mtimeLast modification time since the epoch
ctimeInode change time (not creation time!) since the epoch
blksizePreferred blocksize for file system I/O
blocksActual number of blocks allocated

$dev and $ino, taken together, uniquely identify a file. The $blksize and $blocks are likely defined only on BSD-derived filesystems. The $blocks field (if defined) is reported in 512-byte blocks. Note that $blocks*512 can differ greatly from $size for files containing unallocated blocks, or "holes," which aren't counted in $blocks.

If stat is passed the special filehandle consisting of an underline, no actual stat is done, but the current contents of the stat structure from the last stat or stat-based file test (the -x operators) is returned.

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