C program to find file properties using stat() function

Write a C program to check file properties using stat() function. How to check file permissions, size, creation and modification date of a file in C programming. How to use stat() function to find various file properties.

Required knowledge

Basic Input Output, File handling, Pointers

stat() function in C

int stat(const char *path, struct stat *buf);

stat() function is used to list properties of a file identified by path. It reads all file properties and dumps to buf structure. The function is defined in sys/stat.h header file.

Here *path is a pointer to constant character pointing to file path. *buf is a stat type structure defined in sys/stat.h.

On success the function returns 0 and fills the buf structure with file properties. On error the function return -1 and sets error code. You can use this function to get various properties of a file.

Program to find file properties using stat()

 * C program to find file permission, size, creation and last modification date of 
 * a given file.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <time.h>

void printFileProperties(struct stat stats);

int main()
    char path[100];
    struct stat stats;

    printf("Enter source file path: ");
    scanf("%s", path);

    // stat() returns 0 on successful operation,
    // otherwise returns -1 if unable to get file properties.
    if (stat(path, &stats) == 0)
        printf("Unable to get file properties.\n");
        printf("Please check whether '%s' file exists.\n", path);

    return 0;

 * Function to print file properties.
void printFileProperties(struct stat stats)
    struct tm dt;

    // File permissions
    printf("\nFile access: ");
    if (stats.st_mode & R_OK)
        printf("read ");
    if (stats.st_mode & W_OK)
        printf("write ");
    if (stats.st_mode & X_OK)

    // File size
    printf("\nFile size: %d", stats.st_size);

    // Get file creation time in seconds and 
    // convert seconds to date and time format
    dt = *(gmtime(&stats.st_ctime));
    printf("\nCreated on: %d-%d-%d %d:%d:%d", dt.tm_mday, dt.tm_mon, dt.tm_year + 1900, 
                                              dt.tm_hour, dt.tm_min, dt.tm_sec);

    // File modification time
    dt = *(gmtime(&stats.st_mtime));
    printf("\nModified on: %d-%d-%d %d:%d:%d", dt.tm_mday, dt.tm_mon, dt.tm_year + 1900, 
                                              dt.tm_hour, dt.tm_min, dt.tm_sec);



Enter source file path: data/file3.txt

File access: read write
File size: 115
Created on: 4-1-2018 16:34:13
Modified on: 5-2-2018 19:1:10

Happy coding 😉

About Pankaj

Pankaj Prakash is the founder, editor and blogger at Codeforwin. He loves to learn new techs and write programming articles especially for beginners. He works at Vasudhaika Software Sols. as a Software Design Engineer and manages Codeforwin. In short Pankaj is Web developer, Blogger, Learner, Tech and Music lover.

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