Manual browser: pathchk(1)

PATHCHK(1) General Commands Manual PATHCHK(1)


pathchkcheck pathnames


pathchk [-p] pathname ...


The pathchk utility checks whether each of the specified pathname arguments is valid or portable.

A diagnostic message is written for each argument that:

  • Is longer than PATH_MAX bytes.
  • Contains any component longer than NAME_MAX bytes. (The value of NAME_MAX depends on the underlying file system.)
  • Contains a directory component that is not searchable.

It is not considered an error if a pathname argument contains a nonexistent component as long as a component by that name could be created.

The options are as follows:

Perform portability checks on the specified pathname arguments. Diagnostic messages will be written for each argument that:
  • Is longer than _POSIX_PATH_MAX (255) bytes.
  • Contains a component longer than _POSIX_NAME_MAX (14) bytes.
  • Contains any character not in the portable filename character set (that is, alphanumeric characters, ‘.’, ‘-’ and ‘_’). No component may start with the hyphen (‘-’) character.


Check whether the names of files in the current directory are portable to other POSIX systems:

find . -exec pathchk -p \{\} +
or the more efficient:
find . -print0 | xargs -0 pathchk -p


The pathchk utility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (“POSIX.1”).


A pathchk utility appeared in NetBSD 2.0.
November 9, 2010 NetBSD 7.0