Unix doesn't keep track of a creation date. The only information that's available is typically the last times the files was:
You can get dates related to a particular file using the
$ stat ffmpeg File: `ffmpeg' Size: 19579304 Blocks: 38248 IO Block: 4096 regular file Device: fd02h/64770d Inode: 10356770 Links: 1 Access: (0755/-rwxr-xr-x) Uid: ( 500/ saml) Gid: ( 501/ saml) Access: 2013-11-26 10:49:09.908261694 -0500 Modify: 2013-11-02 17:05:13.357573854 -0400 Change: 2013-11-02 17:05:13.357573854 -0400
OSX and HFS
If you're using OSX the filesystem that's used under that Unix is HFS. This is one of the few (that I'm aware of) that keeps the creation date within the filesystem, along with modification time etc. similar to other Unixes.
A File Record stores a variety of metadata about the file including its CNID, the size of the file, three timestamps (when the file was created, last modified, last backed up), the first file extents of the data and resource forks and pointers to the file's first data and resource extent records in the Extent Overflow File. The File Record also stores two 16 byte fields that are used by the Finder to store attributes about the file including things like its creator code, type code, the window the file should appear in and its location within the window.
Time stamps are always maintained in the filesystem, so you're limited by whatever time tracking is offered through them (EXT3, EXT4, XFS, etc.).
If you're ever curious take a look at this Wikipedia topic titled: Comparison of file systems. It has the most extensive list of filesytems I'm aware of along with a nice table of the various features and the status of whether it's supported or not within a given filesystem.
- http://unix.stackexchange.com/q/91197/22222How to find creation date of file?
- http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/20460/how-do-i-do-a-ls-and-then-sort-the-results-by-date-createdHow do I do a ls and then sort the results by date created?
- http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/50235/list-files-created-on-sundaysList files created on Sundays
- http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/24441/get-file-created-creation-timeGet file created/creation time?
- http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/26205/why-does-unix-time-start-at-1970-01-01/87417#87417Why does Unix time start at 1970-01-01?