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Is there a way to determine when a binary was compiled or installed? For example, I have a binary mdrun_d, and I would like to know when this particular binary was compiled or installed. The system administrator may have recompiled or reinstalled the binary, and I would like to know if this is the case (without emailing him and bothering him with this question).


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Run ls -l /path/to/mdrun_d and ls -lc /path/to/mdrun_d to see when the executable was last modified and when its inode was last changed. Binary executables are rarely modifed after they are compiled, so the modification is likely to indicate when the program was compiled. The ctime will be at least as recent as the last time the file was moved, so it will give an upper bound for the installation date.

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Check the versions available in backup. If the binary was replaced/recompiled, the different versions will show up there. If more versions of the binary are available, you probably want to check if it happened during normal patching. Usually this logging is in /var/log, but depends on exact OS. For ubuntu it is in /var/log/dpkg.*

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If you only want to see if the file has been changed from what the package originally installed, try checking if your package has a /var/lib/dpkg/info/${package_name}.md5sums and compare the m5sum in there with what your you get when you run md5sum /usr/bin/mdrun_d. In your case the package name is probably gromacs.

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