Usually the date +%d gives the output 08 for the current date, 08/10/2017. But when I do the ls -lrt on a path, the date format is like Oct 8 15:03, so, how do I get the files of the current date?

I'm using the command

ls -lrt XYZ.LOG* |grep "$(date +'%b %d')" |awk '{print $9}'

but it's not giving me the file of today's date (08/10/2017) although it gives me correct output for the dates 10 - 31st of any month.

5 Answers 5


This is cheating a bit, but it works.

First create an empty reference file with a specific timestamp, namely midnight:

touch -d "$(date +%FT00:00:00)" /tmp/midnight

Then find files that are newer than this file:

find . -type f -newer /tmp/midnight

If you want ls-like output from find rather than just the pathnames:

find . -type f -newer /tmp/midnight -ls

If you want to find files matching the pattern XYZ.LOG*:

find . -type f -name 'XYZ.LOG*' -newer /tmp/midnight -ls

If you have GNU find, you may bypass the temporary file and use

find . -type f -newermt 0

to get files modified since midnight.

Related: Why *not* parse `ls`?

  • At least with recent versions of GNU find, you can skip the temp file and use time strings directly with the -newerXY test e.g. find . -type f -newermt yesterday Oct 8, 2017 at 14:19
  • @steeldriver Ah, but yesterday would refer to "this time yesterday" which may cause files modified before midnight to be returned.
    – Kusalananda
    Oct 8, 2017 at 14:23
  • @steeldriver 0 works though...
    – Kusalananda
    Oct 8, 2017 at 14:29
  • getting error: $ touch -d "$(date +%FT00:00:00)" /tmp/midnight touch: illegal option -- d usage: touch [-amc] [-t [[CC]YY]MMDDhhmm[.SS] | -r ref_file] file ...
    – ashish_k
    Oct 8, 2017 at 14:50
  • 1
    @User123 What Linux are you running? Are you using busybox? The -d flag is a POSIX standard flag. Oh well, change that line to touch -t "$(date +%Y%m%d0000)" /tmp/midnight.
    – Kusalananda
    Oct 8, 2017 at 14:55

You can use stat(1) to get the modified time of a file, but this is not portable.

On Linux:

$ stat -c %y some_file
2017-09-23 10:24:09.880806666 +0200

$ date -d @$(stat -c %Y some_file) +%d-%m-%Y


$ stat -f %Sm -t %d-%m-%Y some_file

how to get the files of the current date?

ls command has --time-style option to print the time in specific format:

ls -l --time-style=+'%d-%m-%Y' | awk -v d=$(date +%d-%m-%Y) '$6==d'

with -l, show times using style STYLE: full-iso, long-iso, iso, locale, or +FORMAT; FORMAT is interpreted like in 'date';


With zsh, using glob qualifiers and age:

autoload age
print -rl ./**/XYZ.LOG*(e_'age today now'_)

or, if you prefer the long listing format:

autoload age
ls -lrtd -- **/XYZ.LOG*(e_'age today now'_)
  • Note that it will not list files with mtime in the future but still today, so after whatever now is when you run the command until 00:00:00 tommorow. To get those too remove the argument now. Oct 8, 2017 at 15:33

Did you try:

echo `date +'%Y-%m-%d'`*
  • The question, while unclear,  does not appear to be about files whose name begins with today’s date. Jan 22, 2022 at 22:34

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