[Techtalk] file creation date

Little Girl littlergirl at gmail.com
Sat Apr 7 05:52:42 UTC 2012

Hey there,

Miriam English wrote:

> I've often been in situations where it would be very useful (or
> even necessary) for Linux to have a creation date instead of merely
> change, modify, access. It seems like a sensible thing to have,
> right? Much more sensible than change AND modify, which seems like
> unnecessary duplication.

Yes, yes, yes - oh, that would be wonderful!
> Yes, I know that change is supposed to track status bits and modify
> is supposed to track file contents (and I can never remember which
> is which because the words "change" and "modify" are synonyms), but
> in practice an alteration to the file itself usually changes both
> dates anyway, so a separate date for status bits is almost useless
> because it only adds any extra info if the status bits were altered
> without changing the file. Okay, I can imagine some rare security
> situations where that might be useful, like tracking an intruder's
> footprints. But I can see very common uses for a file creation date.

I can imagine that all of them are useful for different purposes, and
have had a need for a file creation date many times. There are times
when you want to know which file or directory you created before
another one, or which was the first script you ever wrote, etc.,
etc., etc. I've found it repeatedly frustrating that all I can see is
when I last did something to a file.

> I was looking on the net for other ideas on how I might be able to
> get around the lack of creation date and I read that the ext4
> filesystem designers were thinking of adding creation date to its
> inode descriptors. I have to say, it is about time this was done. I
> was struck by the number of questions on the net by people wanting
> to use file creation date in Linux.

I am so happy to hear this! I'm one of the people who wants it. (:

Little Girl

There is no spoon.

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