I'm not quite familiar with filesystem layers in the Linux kernel but I suppose that dd and hexdump do not get the inode information since they only do open() and read() syscalls, but I might be horribly wrong. Maybe the inode information is even there in the hexdump and I just don't see it.

  • Which inode data do you want? There are easy ways to get much of the info in a standardized format (lstat) and harder ways to get the raw data from the filesystem. Oct 3, 2015 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


The inode data is not in the file: If you open a file with a text editor and type hello world, then just these 11 bytes go into the file. One for each character (if character is ASCII, but maybe 2, 3, 4 or 5 bytes for other characters ☺). File size, permissions, times etc are in the inode. The inode is not in the file.

Use stat to look at the inode.


What would you ultimately like to do?

If you hexdump or dd parts of the raw data at the block where the inodes resides then... well, dd and hexdump display that data...

Use dumpe2fs /dev/<device> | less to find where the inodes are stored.

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