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how to change last modification time of a symlink

Posted on 2001-09-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
I need to change last modification time of a symlink. I tried with 'utime' library call, but it follows symbolic link and change the inode.st_mtime field of the file the link is referring to.

Is there another call to change that field to the symlink itself?
If not, does anybody known a trick to do it?

I also read 'touch' man page. It does not have such a functionality.

thank you for your support.
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Question by:mliberi
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by:ahoffmann
ID: 6468913
touch can do it, but only as user root (not shure for links, this probably also depends on the underlaying shell)
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by:chris_calabrese
ID: 6470598
touch sits on top of utime, so if utime can't do it, then touch can't do it either.

What exactly is the problem you're trying to solve?  utime follows links because the folks who did links couldn't imagine a situation where anyone would care what the modification time of a link was.

The only way I know of to change the mod time of a link is to delete the link and recreate it.
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by:mliberi
ID: 6470841
I'm trying to restore a saved symlink. I use lchown to restore uid and gid and I would expect a system call or C library call exist to set last modification time too.

Removing and recreating the link is not a solution because it sets current time, not a generic timestamp. Change current time for the time necessary to do that operation is not an accepted solution.
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chris_calabrese earned 100 total points
ID: 6472176
Like I said, the creators of the sym-link stuff assumed that mod times for a link aren't important, so there's no way to do this.  You'd need an lutime or an futime, which don't exist.
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by:tfewster
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No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this Topic Area.
I will leave a recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area as follows:

- Answered by chris_calabrese

Please leave any comments here within the next 7 days

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER !

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by:modulo
ID: 8241253
Finalized as proposed

modulo

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