What is Linux file timestamp (atime, mtime, ctime)?

Easily measure Internet Speed using Linux Command Line

In order to verify that our internet service provider is providing us the same speed that he...

Microsoft released the video of exciting UI changes in Windows 10

Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system passed one billion active users earlier this week, and the company is...

KSnip: Free Screenshot Tool With Annotation Feature for Linux, Windows and Mac

Although popular distributions of Linux usually have pre-installed software for taking screenshots, but if you want some...

Difference between atime, mtime and ctime Linux file timestamp

Every Linux file has three kind of file timestamps: Access Timestamp (atime), Modified Timestamp (mtime), and Changed Timestamp (ctime).

Access Timestamp indicates when the last time a file was read/accessed. If a software reads a file Access timestamp gets changed even if nothing has been removed or added to the file.

A modified timestamp indicates when the contents of a file were last modified. For example, you opened a text file and added or removed few lines and saved the file. In this case, both its access timestamp and modified timestamp will be changed.

A changed timestamp indicates when a file’s metadata has been modified. For example, a change in File Permission will update its Changed Timestamp.

Viewing a timestamp of a file

To view the Modified timestamp the ls -l [Filename] command has to be entered

To view the Access timestamp the ls -lu [Filename] command has to be entered

To view the Changed timestamp the ls -lc [Filename] command has to be entered

Linux File Timestamp Explained

Viewing all timestamps of a file at once

The stat [filename] command has to be given to see all the timestamps of a file simultaneously.

Linux File Timestamp Explained

As you can see in the screenshot above, the stat command not only shows us the Accessed/Modified/Changed time but also the file permissions of its user and group. It also displays the file size and file type. If you notice, the stat command also displays the timezones in Accesses/Modified/Changed time.

Changing the timestamp of a file

To change the access timestamp of a file, enter the command touch -a [filename]. To change the modified timestamp of the file, enter the command touch -m [filename].

Linux File Timestamp Explained

If you want to change the “Changed” Timestamp, you can change it by modifying file permissions of file. For example chmod +x [filename] will change your “Changed timestamp”.

If you want to keep the desired timestamp of a file, then enter the command touch -d “2020-01-15 10:30:45” [filename]. Here, you can enter any date. This command changes the access and modified timestamps.

Linux File Timestamp Explained

Importance of Linux file Timestamps.

Timestamps tell us the date and time when files are last accessed or modified. This enables the backup software to decide what files are needed to backup and what files are can be left. Backup software backup files whose timestamp has been changed. Therefore, you can also force an application to do any work with that file by changing the timestamp of a file.

See more: How to install Google Chrome in Debian Linux 10

Easily measure Internet Speed using Linux Command Line

In order to verify that our internet service provider is providing us the same speed that he...

Microsoft released the video of exciting UI changes in Windows 10

Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system passed one billion active users earlier this week, and the company is now marking this occasion with...

KSnip: Free Screenshot Tool With Annotation Feature for Linux, Windows and Mac

Although popular distributions of Linux usually have pre-installed software for taking screenshots, but if you want some advanced features such as annotation...

Solution: Why do Windows partitions sometimes get read-only in Linux?

When you dual boot Windows and Linux, some times that when we try to access Windows partition through Linux, we notice that...

Download instagram videos using downloadgram for Free

DownloadGram is a simple website that lets you download Instagram videos in two clicks, this website provides you the download link of...

More Articles Like This