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man pages section 8: System Administration Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022



bart - file integrity scanner and reporter


/usr/bin/bart create [ -n] [-R root_directory]
     [-r rules_file | -] [-a md5|sha1|sha256|sha384|sha512]
/usr/bin/bart create [-n] [-R root_directory] -I
     [-a md5|sha1|sha256|sha384|sha512] [file_name]...
/usr/bin/bart compare [-i attribute ] [-p]
     [-r rules_file | -] control-manifest test-manifest


bart(8) is a rule-based file integrity scanning and reporting tool that uses cryptographic-strength checksums and file system metadata to report changes.

The bart utility performs two basic functions:

bart create

The manifest generator tool takes a file-level snapshot of a system. The output is a catalog of file attributes referred to as a manifest. See bart_manifest(5).

You can specify that the list of files be cataloged in three ways. Use bart create with no options, specify the files by name on the command line, or create a rules file with directives that specify which the files to monitor. See bart_rules(5).

By default, the manifest generator catalogs all attributes of all files in the root (/) file system. Other file systems are cataloged only if they are of the same type as the root file system, and the path to them does not cross any other type of file system.

For example, if /, /var, and /var/share are separate ZFS file systems, with /var mounted on / and /var/share mounted on /var, then all three file systems are cataloged. However, /tmp, also mounted on /, would not be cataloged because it is a TMPFS file system.

bart compare

The report tool compares two manifests. The output is a list of per-file attribute discrepancies. These discrepancies are the differences between two manifests: a control manifest and a test manifest.

A discrepancy is a change to any attribute for a given file cataloged by both manifests. A new file or a deleted file in a manifest is reported as a discrepancy.

The reporting mechanism provides two types of output: verbose and programmatic. Verbose output is localized and presented on multiple lines, while programmatic output is more easily parsable by other programs. See OUTPUT.

By default, the report tool generates verbose output where all discrepancies are reported except for modified directory timestamps (dirmtime attribute).

To ensure consistent and accurate comparison results, control-manifest and test-manifest must be built with the same rules file and the rules file needs to be used during 'compare' operation.

Use the rules file to ignore specified files or subtrees when you generate a manifest or compare two manifests. Users can compare manifests from different perspectives by re-running the bart compare command with different rules files. See bart_rules(5) and bart_manifest(5).

You can also specify the files to track and the types of discrepancies to flag by means of a rules file, bart_rules.


The following options are supported:

–i attribute ...

Specify the file attributes to be ignored globally. Specify attributes as a comma separated list.

This option produces the same behavior as supplying the file attributes to a global IGNORE keyword in the rules file. See bart_rules(5).

–I [file_name...]

Specify the input list of files. The file list can be specified at the command line or read from standard input.


Prevent computation of content signatures for all regular files in the file list.


Display manifest comparison output in “programmatic mode,” which is suitable for programmatic parsing. The output is not localized.

–r rules_file

Use rules_file to specify which files and directories to catalog, and to define which file attribute discrepancies to flag. If rules_file is , then the rules are read from standard input. See bart_rules(5) for the definition of the syntax.

–R root_directory

Specify the root directory for the manifest. All paths specified by the rules, and all paths reported in the manifest, are relative to root_directory.

Note - The root file system of any non-global zones must not be referenced with the –R option. Doing so might damage the global zone's file system, might compromise the security of the global zone, and might damage the non-global zone's file system. See zones(7).
–a [ hash ]

Specify the cryptographic digest algorithm to use for the hash of the file contents: md5, sha1, sha256, sha384, and sha512 are the currently supported values. If –a is not specified, sha256 is used and a Version 1.1 manifest is created that indicates which hash algorithm is used. If md5 is specified then a Version 1.0 manifest is created.


bart allows quoting of operands. This is particularly important for white-space appearing in subtree and subtree modifier specifications.

The following operands are supported:


Specify the manifest created by bart create on the control system.


Specify the manifest created by bart create on the test system.


The bart create and bart compare commands write output to standard output, and write error messages to standard error.

The bart create command generates a system manifest. See bart_manifest(5).

When the bart compare command compares two system manifests, it generates a list of file differences. By default, the comparison output is localized. However, if the –p option is specified, the output is generated in a form that is suitable for programmatic manipulation.

Default Format

attribute control:xxxx test:yyyy

Name of the file that differs between control-manifest and test-manifest. For file names that contain embedded whitespace or newline characters, see bart_manifest(5).


The name of the file attribute that differs between the manifests that are compared. xxxx is the attribute value from control-manifest, and yyyy is the attribute value from test-manifest. When discrepancies for multiple attributes occur for the same file, each difference is noted on a separate line.

The following attributes are supported:


ACL attributes for the file. For a file with ACL attributes, this field contains the output from acltotext().


All attributes.


Checksum value of the file. This attribute is only specified for regular files. If you turn off context checking or if checksums cannot be computed, the value of this field is .


Destination of a symbolic link.


Value of the device node. This attribute is for character device files and block device files only.


Modification time in seconds since 00:00:00 UTC, January 1, 1970 for directories.


Numerical group ID of the owner of this entry.


Creation time for links.


Octal number that represents the permissions of the file.


Modification time in seconds since 00:00:00 UTC, January 1, 1970 for files.


File size in bytes.


Type of file.


Numerical user ID of the owner of this entry.

The following default output shows the attribute differences for the /etc/passwd file. The output indicates that the size, mtime, and contents attributes have changed.

  size  control:74  test:81
  mtime  control:3c165879  test:3c165979
  contents  control:daca28ae0de97afd7a6b91fde8d57afa

Programmatic Format

filename attribute control-val test-val [attribute control-val test-val]*

Same as filename in the default format.

attribute control-val test-val

A description of the file attributes that differ between the control and test manifests for each file. Each entry includes the attribute value from each manifest. See bart_manifest(5) for the definition of the attributes.

Each line of the programmatic output describes all attribute differences for a single file.

The following programmatic output shows the attribute differences for the /etc/passwd file. The output indicates that the size, mtime, and contents attributes have changed.

/etc/passwd size 74 81 mtime 3c165879 3c165979
contents daca28ae0de97afd7a6b91fde8d57afa 84b2b32c4165887355317207b48a6ec7

Exit Status

Manifest Generator

The manifest generator returns the following exit values:




Non-fatal error when processing files; for example, permission problems


Fatal error; for example, invalid command-line options

Report Tool

The report tool returns the following exit values:


No discrepancies reported


Discrepancies found


Fatal error executing comparison


Example 1 Creating a Default Manifest Without Computing Checksums

The following command line creates a default manifest, which consists of all files in the / file system. The –n option prevents computation of checksums, which causes the manifest to be generated more quickly.

bart create -n
Example 2 Creating a Manifest for a Specified Subtree

The following command line creates a manifest that contains all files in the /home/nickiso subtree.

bart create -R /home/nickiso
Example 3 Creating a Manifest by Using Standard Input

The following command line uses output from the find(1) command to generate the list of files to be cataloged. The find output is used as input to the bart create command that specifies the –I option.

find /home/nickiso -print | bart create -I
Example 4 Creating a Manifest by Using a Rules File

The following command line uses a rules file, rules, to specify the files to be cataloged. The rules file needs to be specified when comparing the manifests for consistent and accurate results (see example 7).

bart create -r rules
Example 5 Comparing Two Manifests and Generating Programmatic Output

The following command line compares two manifests and produces output suitable for parsing by a program.

bart compare -p manifest1 manifest2
Example 6 Comparing Two Manifests and Specifying Attributes to Ignore

The following command line compares two manifests. The dirmtime, lnmtime, and mtime attributes are not compared.

bart compare -i dirmtime,lnmtime,mtime manifest1 manifest2
Example 7 Comparing Two Manifests by Using a Rules File

The following command line uses a rules file, rules, to compare two manifests.

bart compare -r rules manifest1 manifest2


The MD5 & SHA-1 algorithms are currently considered weak for cryptographic use. These algorithms should be used only for compatibility with legacy manifest data. Manifests should be updated to use a SHA-2 family checksum when possible (sha256, sha384, or sha512).


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability

See Also

cksum(1), digest(1), find(1), bart_manifest(5), bart_rules(5), attributes(7)


The file attributes of certain system libraries can be temporarily altered by the system as it boots. To avoid triggering false warnings, you should compare manifests only if they were both created with the system in the same state; that is, if both were created in single-user or both in multi-user.


Support for Version 1.1 manifests, SHA checksums, and the –a option was added in Oracle Solaris 11.0.0.

The bart command was added in Solaris 10 3/05.