Linux, as many know, is a powerful open-source operating system that provides a rich set of administration and development tools. One of the important tasks that users and system administrators face is determining the creation date of a file. Unlike some other operating systems, Linux does not store explicit information about the creation date of a file. However, there are ways in which this date can be approximately determined. In this article, we will look at various methods to get information about the creation time of a file in Linux.

Method #1. Using the stat command

The stat command is a powerful tool for obtaining various information about files, including their last modified time, access time, and inode modification. However, unfortunately, it does not provide information about the date the file was created.

stat your_filename

Method #2. Inode ttributes

In Linux, file information is stored in inode, and there is a way to get the creation time of a file using inode attributes. Unfortunately, this is not always an easy process, since not all file systems support this feature.

debugfs -R 'stat <your_inode_number>' /dev/sdXY

where <your_inode_number> is the inode number of the file, and /dev/sdXY is the path to the device on which the file is located.

Method #3. Using debugfs

Debugfs is a debug file system designed to work with ext2, ext3 and ext4 file system debugging tools. This is not always the most convenient way, but in some cases it can be useful.

debugfs /dev/sdXY -R "stat <your_filename>"

To view the file system, the df command is useful:

df /home/root-user/scripts/main_script.txt

Method #4. System Logs

System logs may contain information about events related to file creation. For example, file creation events may be recorded in syslog or journald.

grep "<your_filename>" /var/log/syslog

Method #5. Using ls

The ls command allows you to display information about files, including the time they were last modified. This can be used as an approximate method for determining when a file was created.

ls -l --time=creation <your_filename>


Linux does not have a universal and direct way to determine when a file was created. However, using a combination of the above methods can provide you with approximate information. Please note that the availability and effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on the file system used and system configuration.