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Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal, 2nd Edition by Joe Kissell

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Work with Files and Directories

Much of what you’ll need to do on the command line involves working with files in some way—creating, deleting, copying, renaming, and moving them. This chapter covers the essentials of interacting with files and directories.

Create a File

I want to mention a curious command called touch that serves two interesting functions:

  • When applied to a nonexistent file, touch creates an empty file.
  • When applied to an existing file or folder, touch updates its modification date to the current date and time, marking it as modified.

Try entering the following command:

touch file1

Now use ls -l to list the contents of your current directory. You’ll see file1 in the list. This file that you’ve just created is completely empty. ...

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