is a function provided by the operating system. As such, the results of stat
are not guaranteed to be the same from one operating system to another. You have to find documentation for your own system to ensure you have the proper meaning for your system.
However, it is expected that stat
, along with lstat
, are functions relating to information about a particular file. Typically stat
takes an argument of a file name, and fstat
takes an argument of an open file descriptor. lstat
is a bit different: while it takes an argument of a file name, if the file name is some sort of aliases or symbolic representation of another file, that alias's stat information is what is returned instead of the real file that is the alias's target.
See also edit