I know lsof, which shows me the files opened by a running process, but if I launch a command, like calendar, that terminates immediately.

How can I see what config files are read?


2 Answers 2


I would use strace -efile calendar for this. The resulting output is a little hard to read, but it shows every file-related action, including failed attempts at opening files and uses of 'stat' to see if a file exists.


I use find -mmin -2 or find -amin -2 to see which files were concerned by a command.

  • 1
    This only works if the atime is recorded, which is often not the case. Also, how exactly would you see which command opened a file returned by find?
    – slhck
    Dec 13, 2012 at 9:24
  • It's a raw technique but I launch find etc before and after the command so I can see what change. I agree it's not precise but it often help.
    – breard
    Dec 13, 2012 at 12:54

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