file creation date

Matthew Miller mattdm at
Tue Sep 14 23:59:26 UTC 2004

On Tue, Sep 14, 2004 at 05:42:31PM +0100, James Wilkinson wrote:
> File creation date is not recorded. It may be the same as the mtime or
> the ctime, or it may not.

This seems weird at first, but it's not just arbitrary. What is file
creation time supposed to mean? If you copy a file, is the creation time the
time the copy was created, or the same as the original? What if you edit the
file with this process: copy to new file, modify, copy new file over old?
What if you create a new project using a template file? What about files you
download from somewhere else? Basically, since files are really an
abstraction -- there's no physical thing created! -- the idea of "creation
time" becomes surprisingly hard to define. Modification time is much more

Matthew Miller           mattdm at        <>
Boston University Linux      ------>                <>

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