namei (1) - Linux Manuals

namei: follow a pathname until a terminal point is found


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" 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 original namei program was written by

The program was rewritten by Karel Zak


For bug reports, use the issue tracker at <>.


The namei command is part of the util-linux package which can be downloaded from Linux Kernel Archive <>.


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