file creation date in freebsd

Dan Nelson dnelson at
Sun Jun 18 00:46:39 UTC 2006

In the last episode (Jun 17), Bill Moran said:
> Imran Imtiaz <imran at> wrote:
> > However we can find the modification date of a file but is it
> > possible that we can also get creation date of the file?
> There is nothing in the filesystem that stores this info.
> However, the ctime is often used for this purpose.  The ctime stores
> the last time the file metadata was changed (such as permissions and
> ownership). Since it's uncommon for people to change the file
> metadata, the ctime can be a good indicator of when the file was
> created, but it's no guarantee.

Actually, there is if you are using UFS2.  The stat field is called the
st_birthtime, although the code to print it via ls (with -U) was just
committed recently and isn't available in 6.1.

	Dan Nelson
	dnelson at

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