Say i have the following command. It's set to display a list of the last 20 files modified on my drive with the paths included.

find -type f -printf '%TY-%Tm-%Td %TT %p\n' | sort -r | head -20

The command works fine however in the format of the date and time there is too much information as it also displays the milliseconds. My questions were how would I remove this. In addition, how could I change the position it prints in so that the path would show up on the left side and the date on the right?


You could do this:

find -type f -printf '%TY-%Tm-%Td %.8TT %p\n' | sort -r | sed -r 's/(^[^ ]+ [^ ]+) (.+)/\2 \1/' | head -20

Putting .8 between % and TT modifies that field to limit it to 8 characters (hh:mm:ss). The sed regex moves the first part of the line (to sets of non-space characters with one space between) to the end of the line. It's necessary for the time to be at the beginning of the line for the sort command.

Warning: Putting the date after the file name could potentially cause confusion if filenames are displayed that contain spaces and numbers. However, for viewing as a human rather that for feeding into another script or program, this output should be fine.

Otherwise, to leave the times in front of the filenames:

find -type f -printf '%TY-%Tm-%Td %.8TT %p\n' | sort -r | head -20

EDIT: sed is unnecessary for trimming fractional second per @steeldriver's comment. This may be a GNU extension, but -printf doesn't appear to be POSIX anyway. Also, corrected sorting bug.

  • Hi. Thank you so much for your help. The layout is as i wanted however putting the text before the date seems to cause issues so i think i may leave that part out. However, when i keep the command as in my original while ONLY adding the sed regex it doesn't seem to remove the additional numerals (milliseconds). Why could this be ? – flowoftruth Dec 21 '14 at 2:29
  • 2
    At least with the GNU version of find, you can specify a precision for the time field e.g. to print exactly 8 characters hh:mm:ss (omitting the fractional seconds), replace %TT by %.8TT – steeldriver Dec 21 '14 at 2:44
  • @flowoftruth Fixed. – depquid Dec 21 '14 at 3:20

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