Full Discussion: mtime, ctime, and atime
Top Forums UNIX for Beginners Questions & Answers Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Tips and Tutorials mtime, ctime, and atime Post 302134305 by Perderabo on Thursday 30th of August 2007 09:13:22 AM
Using perl to display the file timestamps

The ls program will display mtime if you use "ls -l". And you can get atime or ctime with "ls -lu" or "ls -lc". But ls uses a strange format. It displays the month and day in all cases. If the timestamp is recent, it also displays hour and minute. If the timestamp is older than 6 months, it display the year instead of hour and minute. A clever script can reformat this to year, month, day, hour, and minute. But ls will not display the seconds. The gnu version of ls (which is usually the only version on linux) does have extended options like --fulltime. But these extended options are non-standard and won't be available on other versions of Unix.

The perl language is also non-standard, but perl tends to be available on most versions of unix. For example, a version of perl is supplied with HP-UX and Solaris. Perl can easily display the timestamps of files. Here are some perl one-liners to display atime, mtime, and ctime.

$ echo hello > testfile ; date
Thu Aug 30 08:31:57 EDT 2007
$ chmod 700 testfile ; date
Thu Aug 30 08:32:48 EDT 2007
$ cat testfile ; date
Thu Aug 30 08:33:30 EDT 2007
$ perl -e '@d=localtime ((stat(shift))[8]); printf "%4d%02d%02d%02d%02d%02d\n", $d[5]+1900,$d[4]+1,$d[3],$d[2],$d[1],$d[0]' testfile
$ perl -e '@d=localtime ((stat(shift))[9]); printf "%4d%02d%02d%02d%02d%02d\n", $d[5]+1900,$d[4]+1,$d[3],$d[2],$d[1],$d[0]' testfile
$ perl -e '@d=localtime ((stat(shift))[10]); printf "%4d%02d%02d%02d%02d%02d\n", $d[5]+1900,$d[4]+1,$d[3],$d[2],$d[1],$d[0]' testfile

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VFPRINTF(3)								 1							       VFPRINTF(3)

vfprintf - Write a formatted string to a stream

int vfprintf (resource $handle, string $format, array $args) DESCRIPTION
Write a string produced according to $format to the stream resource specified by $handle. Operates as fprintf(3) but accepts an array of arguments, rather than a variable number of arguments. PARAMETERS
o $handle - o $format - See sprintf(3) for a description of $format. o $args - RETURN VALUES
Returns the length of the outputted string. EXAMPLES
Example #1 vfprintf(3): zero-padded integers <?php if (!($fp = fopen('date.txt', 'w'))) return; vfprintf($fp, "%04d-%02d-%02d", array($year, $month, $day)); // will write the formatted ISO date to date.txt ?> SEE ALSO
printf(3), sprintf(3), sscanf(3), fscanf(3), vsprintf(3), number_format(3). PHP Documentation Group VFPRINTF(3)

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