O'Reilly logo

Linux Pocket Guide, 2nd Edition by Daniel J. Barrett

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Name

touch — stdin  stdout  - file  -- opt  --help  --version

Synopsis

touch [options] files

The touch command changes two timestamps associated with a file: its modification time (when the file’s data was last changed) and its access time (when the file was last read). To set both timestamps to right now, run:

$ touch myfile

You can set these timestamps to arbitrary values, e.g.:

$ touch -d "November 18 1975" myfile

If a given file doesn’t exist, touch creates it, a handy way to create empty files.

Useful options

-a

Change the access time only.

-m

Change the modification time only.

-c

If the file doesn’t exist, don’t create it (normally, touch creates it).

-d timestamp

Set the file’s timestamp(s). A tremendous number of timestamp formats are acceptable, from “12/28/2001 3pm” to “28-May” (the current year is assumed, and a time of midnight) to “next tuesday 13:59” to “0” (midnight today). Experiment and check your work with stat. Full documentation is available from info touch.

-t timestamp

A less intelligent way to set the file’s timestamp, using the format [[CC]YY]MMDDhhmm [.ss], where CC is the two-digit century, YY is the two-digit year, MM is the 2-digit month, DD is the two-digit day, hh is the two-digit hour, mm is the two-digit minute, and ss is the two-digit second. For example, -t 20030812150047 represents August 12, 2003, at 15:00:47.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required