UTIMES(2) BSD System Calls Manual UTIMES(2)
utimes, lutimes, futimes, futimesat -- set file access and modification times
Standard C Library (libc, -lc)
utimes(const char *path, const struct timeval *times);
lutimes(const char *path, const struct timeval *times);
futimes(int fd, const struct timeval *times);
futimesat(int fd, const char *path, const struct timeval times);
The access and modification times of the file named by path or referenced by fd are changed
as specified by the argument times.
If times is NULL, the access and modification times are set to the current time. The caller
must be the owner of the file, have permission to write the file, or be the super-user.
If times is non-NULL, it is assumed to point to an array of two timeval structures. The
access time is set to the value of the first element, and the modification time is set to
the value of the second element. For file systems that support file birth (creation) times
(such as UFS2), the birth time will be set to the value of the second element if the second
element is older than the currently set birth time. To set both a birth time and a modifi-
cation time, two calls are required; the first to set the birth time and the second to set
the (presumably newer) modification time. Ideally a new system call will be added that
allows the setting of all three times at once. The caller must be the owner of the file or
be the super-user.
In either case, the inode-change-time of the file is set to the current time.
The lutimes() system call is like utimes() except in the case where the named file is a sym-
bolic link, in which case lutimes() changes the access and modification times of the link,
while utimes() changes the times of the file the link references.
The futimesat() system call is equivalent to utimes() except in the case where path speci-
fies a relative path. In this case the access and modification time is set to that of a
file relative to the directory associated with the file descriptor fd instead of the current
working directory. If futimesat() is passed the special value AT_FDCWD in the fd parameter,
the current working directory is used and the behavior is identical to a call to utimes().
Upon successful completion, the value 0 is returned; otherwise the value -1 is returned and
the global variable errno is set to indicate the error.
All of the system call will fail if:
[EACCES] Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix.
[EACCES] The times argument is NULL and the effective user ID of the process does
not match the owner of the file, and is not the super-user, and write
access is denied.
[EFAULT] The path or times argument points outside the process's allocated address
[EFAULT] The times argument points outside the process's allocated address space.
[EINVAL] The tv_usec component of at least one of the values specified by the
times argument has a value less than 0 or greater than 999999.
[EIO] An I/O error occurred while reading or writing the affected inode.
[ELOOP] Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the pathname.
[ENAMETOOLONG] A component of a pathname exceeded NAME_MAX characters, or an entire path
name exceeded PATH_MAX characters.
[ENOENT] The named file does not exist.
[ENOTDIR] A component of the path prefix is not a directory.
[EPERM] The times argument is not NULL and the calling process's effective user
ID does not match the owner of the file and is not the super-user.
[EPERM] The named file has its immutable or append-only flags set. See the
chflags(2) manual page for more information.
[EROFS] The file system containing the file is mounted read-only.
The futimes() system call will fail if:
[EBADF] The fd argument does not refer to a valid descriptor.
In addition to the errors returned by the utimes(), the futimesat() may fail if:
[EBADF] The path argument does not specify an absolute path and the fd argument
is neither AT_FDCWD nor a valid file descriptor open for searching.
[ENOTDIR] The path argument is not an absolute path and fd is neither AT_FDCWD nor
a file descriptor associated with a directory.
chflags(2) , stat(2) , utime(3)
The utimes() function is expected to conform to X/Open Portability Guide Issue 4, Version 2
(``XPG4.2''). The futimesat() system call follows The Open Group Extended API Set 2 speci-
The utimes() system call appeared in 4.2BSD. The futimes() and lutimes() system calls first
appeared in FreeBSD 3.0. The futimesat() system call appeared in FreeBSD 8.0.
BSD July 3, 2014 BSD