Touch command in unix

Posted on 2011-09-27
Last Modified: 2012-05-12

I want to change the file's date from 9/27/2011 to 9/9/2011. How can I do this in unix using touch.

It should change only the date.
Question by:new_perl_user

Accepted Solution

_-W-_ earned 500 total points
ID: 36712970
Here are three ways:
 # touch -t 200701310846.26 index.html
 # touch -d '2007-01-31 8:46:26' index.html
 # touch -d 'Jan 31 2007 8:46:26' index.html

Author Comment

ID: 36712985
I mean there are around 100 files with date as 9/27/2011 . I need to change them to 9/9/2011
LVL 68

Expert Comment

ID: 36712987
touch -t ${DATE}$(echo $(stat -c "%z" $FILE) | awk -F":| |\\\." '{print $2 $3 "." $4}') $FILE
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 36713005
touch -t 201109090000 filename

Open in new window

or, since the year is the same,
touch -t 09090000 filename

Open in new window

              use [[CC]YY]MMDDhhmm[.ss] instead of current time
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 36713010
Woops didn't see the other answers, walked away for a few while writing my answer :p
LVL 68

Expert Comment

ID: 36713011
OK, for the 100 files

touch -t 201127090000 /tmp/from
touch -t 201127092359 /tmp/to


find /dir -type f -newer /tmp/from ! -newer /tmp/to |while read FILE
   touch -t ${DATE}$(echo $(stat -c "%z" $FILE) | awk -F":| |\\\." '{print $2 $3 "." $4}') $FILE
LVL 68

Expert Comment

ID: 36713059
You can also use

... stat -c "%y" ... ...

to keep the time of last modification, or

... stat -c "%x" ... ...

to keep the time of last access, instead of my

.. stat -c "%z" ... ...

which will keep the time of last change.

LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Hugh McCurdy
ID: 36713121
Is this something you want to do just once or several times?  

If several times, accept one of the fine answers above.

If just once, and you are good with vi, you can do something like thsi

ls  > foo
vi foo
1,$s/^/touch -d '2007-01-31 8:46:26' /
sh foo

Credit goes to -W- for providing the touch command.

I don't want any points for this because this is a scripting thread and I gave a vi answer and the other answers are good and earlier.  (It's just quicker for me, sometimes, when I just have to do whatever the task is once.)

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