Say there is an empty directory and I run the commands >file1 and touch file2 while in that directory, but I forget which command created which file.

I don't know what command I ran first and I don't have access to command history.

The files are untampered. Is there a way to tell which file was obtained from touch and what file was obtained from redirection?

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    I don't think there is a way other than using command history. I also don't think you should ever really need this information. – Jesse_b May 8 at 14:38
  • Is this an interview question? Just curious. – Atul May 8 at 14:42
  • check audit logs if you have it and enabled before, and how you don't have access to command history ?! – αғsнιη May 8 at 14:42
  • The creation time of both files will maybe be different. – Jules Lamur May 8 at 15:01
  • @Atul Nope. (filler) – Redirect May 8 at 15:06

No, there will be no difference in the resulting files.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review – Kevdog777 May 8 at 15:04
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    @Kevdog777 How's this not an answer? – Redirect May 8 at 15:10
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    Did not mean to critique or request clarification. My answer is a precise answer to the actual question, and it was meant as such. – Hkoof May 8 at 15:14
  • Sorry, but looks more like a comment and not really an answer. Looking at @bu5hman's answer is more of an answer than just saying "no". – Kevdog777 May 10 at 10:27

@Hkoof is correct.

Neither :> nor touch actually create files, they only send requests to the underlying management system which populates the attributes with the information it needs, and these are the built-in attributes concerned only with managing the files and their security (who, when, what is allowed to be done etc).

There is no built-in attribute which can be set to record how the 'creation process' was started simply because this information has no use in the management of the system. The how in file creation is the responsibility of the user.

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