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I'm reading about find and for one of the tests (-cnewer file) it reads:

File's status was last changed more recently than file was modified.

What is the file's status? It's obviously a date, but in general what does it mean?

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1 Answer 1

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It's referring to the time when the inode of the file was last changed. In the context of -cnewer of find, status means inode.

You can read more about inodes, what they are and what they contain.

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  • So an inode is a number that unique identifies an object in the file system (a directory, symlink, hard link, or file) (it's number not it's name, which can be seen with ls -lai). The inode number doesn't change when you rename or write to a file, so what would change the inode? fsck ?
    – leeand00
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 20:13
  • @leeand00 The inode number will remain the same but the things that inode contains e.g. last modification time, permissions, ownership etc can be changed by operations as you an imagine..find and all other tools refer to these changes of inode contents not the inode number of the file.....
    – heemayl
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 20:17
  • So a status change constitutes the last date that a change was made to the metadata of a file?
    – leeand00
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 20:20
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    @leeand00 spot on..
    – heemayl
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 20:20

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