[Techtalk] file creation date

Alison Chaiken alchaiken at gmail.com
Sat Apr 7 15:47:22 UTC 2012

Myriam writes:

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

Nowadays, I use git for all those purposes.    git is incredibly fast,
completely scriptable, and cryptographically secure (for those who care).
Furthermore, git, unlike CVS say, does not insert text in the files it
controls, and has a huge community which has written extensive
documentation.      There are even excellent GUI and web interfaces for
viewing git's diff and historical output, and you could easily restore an
earlier version of a file by using its patch mechanisms.

debugfs -R 'stat /stuff/subdir/blah.txt' /dev/sdf1

Sounds cool, but I on Debian Wheezy I see

$FILE: File not found by ext2_lookup

every time.      All my file systems are ext4, too.    'stat $FILE' OTOH
works fine:

[alison at bonnet AutoSeminar (master)]$ stat -c "%x"
2012-04-06 16:09:07.976677544 -0700

Note that %w and %W formats output file creation.

Happy hacking,

Alison Chaiken
(650) 279-5600  (cell)                       {she-devel.com,
"User innovation is an advanced form of product management."  -- Dirk
Riehle, SAP

More information about the Techtalk mailing list