Preserving target file's creation date

Polytropon freebsd at
Tue Sep 29 11:40:55 UTC 2020

On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 06:42:18 -0400, Jerry wrote:
> I am trying to copy/move one file onto another. I need to preserve the
> creation date of the target file. I see options to preserve the
> creation date of the source file, but not the target file. Is it
> possible?

THis is possible - it's important you do not unlink (remove)
the original file whose creation time you want to preserve.
I'm not sure if cp does this while overwriting, but you can
use shell redirection:

	$ cat /path/to/souce/file > /path/to/target/file

Only the modification date will be altered. You can verify
that using "stat filename".

Note that creation time refers to the inode. Even if you
re-create a file (remove, then create with the same name),
you'll probably get a different inode, and therefore a
different creation time.

If you want to preserve modification and access time, you
can do so using "cp -p"; to alter them after creation,
use "touch -m" and "touch -a" respectively.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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