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In FreeBSD and also in Linux, how can I get the numerical chmod value of a file? For example, 644 instead of -rw-r--r--? I need an automatic way for a Bash script.

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up vote 63 down vote accepted

You can get the value directly using a stat output format, e.g. BSD/OS X:

stat -f "%OLp" <file>

or in Linux

stat --format '%a' <file>
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thanks, selected as answer because it was the first one and also seems to be the simplest one :-) @seg_fault: stat -x YOUR_FILE gives me more than just the mode value. – stefan.at.wpf Sep 1 '12 at 21:06

use stat YOUR_FILE unless write script that calculate :

rwx rwx rwx ==> ( r = 4 ) if set + ( w = 2) if set + (x = 1) if set , for example:
You have :
-rw-wxrw- => (4+2+0)(0+2+1)(4+2+) = 0636 
First argument before 9 permissions is one of :
- = regular file
d =  directory
b = block device
c = character device
s = socket
p = pipe
f = fifo

By the way , I use stat command on Linux box, not freebsd, because it investigate HFS probably work with UFS.

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Yes, i found it under FreeBSD box, use stat -x YOUR_FILE under FreeBSD box – PersianGulf Sep 1 '12 at 19:02
stat -r YOUR_FILE |awk '{print $3}' gives your permission. – PersianGulf Sep 1 '12 at 19:09

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