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How can I set the time information of a file to be the same as of another file on OSX / Linux?

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up vote 27 down vote accepted


touch -r FILE1 FILE2

That sets the access and modification times of FILE2 to match FILE1.

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And note: the infamous "creation time" (aka "ctime") that might hear people say that UNIX systems store for a file is really the "i-node modification time", which virtually useless, and certainly doesn't represent the time the file was created. – Fran Jun 16 '12 at 15:47
The real "creation time" is btime aka "birth time", which some filesystems support but Linux stat() doesn't (yet). – grawity Jun 16 '12 at 16:07
when using touch -r on OSX, the "creation time" (as appears in the "get info" box for a file) becomes the same as "last modified" time. i.e. it seems that the FILE1 creation time gets ignored/lost in the process – GJ. Jun 17 '12 at 11:38
@Fran I wasn't aware of how ctime works. I found a good explanation of it here. – Joe Jun 18 '12 at 19:58

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