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In an ext4 filesystem, suppose that file1 has inode number 1, and that file2 has inode number 2. Now, regardless of any crtime timestamp that might be available, is it wrong to assume that file1 was created earlier than file2 only because inode 1 is less than inode 2?

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Lower inode number doesn't prove older.

A simple case that would change that sequence is deleting a file which would free the inode. That inode therefore becomes available for future use.

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