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How to use ‘find’ to search for files created on a specific date? [closed]

How do I use the UNIX guideline find to search for files created on a specific date?

closed as off-topic by Andrew Barber Aug 1 ’13 at Legitimate:25

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  • ",Questions about general computing hardware and software are off-topic for Stack Overflow unless they directly involve implements used primarily for programming. You may be able to get help on Super User.", &ndash, Andrew Barber

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9 Answers

As pointed out by Max, you can’t, but checking files modified or accessed is not all that hard. I wrote a tutorial about this, as late as today. The essence of which is to use -newerXY and ! -newerXY :

Example: To find all files modified on the 7th of June, 2007:

To find all files accessed on the 29th of september, 2008:

Or, files which had their permission switched on the same day:

If you don’t switch permissions on the file, ‘c’ would normally correspond to the creation date, tho’.

find location -ctime time_period

Examples of time_period:

More than 30 days ago: -ctime +30

Less than 30 days ago: -ctime -30

Exactly 30 days ago: -ctime 30

It’s two steps but I like to do it this way:

Very first create a file with a particular date/time. In this case, the file is 2008-10-01 at midnight

Now we can find all files that are newer or older than the above file (going by file modified date. You can also use -anewer for accessed and -cnewer file status switched).

You could also look at files inbetween certain dates by creating two files with touch

This will find files inbetween the two dates &, times

You could do this:

You can’t. The -c switch tells you when the permissions were last switched, -a tests the most latest access time, and -m tests the modification time. The filesystem used by most flavors of Linux (ext3) doesn’t support a “creation time” record. Sorry!

@Max: is right about the creation time.

However, if you want to calculate the elapsed days argument for one of the -atime , -ctime , -mtime parameters, you can use the following expression

Substitute “2008-09-24” with whatever date you want and ELAPSED_DAYS will be set to the number of days inbetween then and today. (Update: subtract one from the result to align with find ‘s date rounding.)

So, to find any file modified on September 24th, 2008, the guideline would be:

This will work if your version of find doesn’t support the -newerXY predicates mentioned in @Arve:’s response.

With the -atime, -ctime, and -mtime switches to find, you can get close to what you want to achieve.

I found this scriplet in a script that deletes all files older than 14 days:

I think a little extra “man find” and looking for the -ctime / -atime etc. parameters will help you here.

Related movie: UNHhhh ep 7: \

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