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Are there any (good known, reliable) file systems on Linux that store the creation time of files and directories in the i-node table?

If there are, is the "changed" time replaced by the creation time of an i-node in a stat call?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The ext4 file system does store the creation time. stat -c %W myfile can show it to you.

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Thanks. In my system stat -c %W returns 0 (creation time unknown), but that is another question... –  franziskus Feb 17 '11 at 6:30
But note that due to how files are handled by many programs, that creation time value may not be useful. –  mattdm Feb 17 '11 at 15:27
@mattdm: What do you mean? –  Legate Feb 20 '11 at 11:51
@Legate: if a text editor works by copying the file to a temporary location, editing the temporary working copy, and then moving the temporary copy over the original on save, when is the creation time? –  mattdm Feb 20 '11 at 14:02

Several file systems store the file creation time, although there is no standard name for this field:

  • ufs2 → st_birthtime
  • zfs → crtime
  • ext4 → crtime
  • btrfs → otime
  • jfs → di_otime
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To be explicit, as of 2015-03, XFS don't support (see xfs_db manpage or in XFS File System Structure –  Franklin Piat Mar 28 at 13:54

As far as I know ext4, JFS and BTRFS file systems all support an extra field in the files inode to store the creation time, though the naming might differ.

Source: LWN File Creation Times

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