Is it possible to change a file "Birth date" (according to the stat file "Birth" field)?

I can change the modification/access time with touch -t 200109110846 file, but can't find the corresponding option for "Birth".

  • Which filesystem? There might be some fs-specific tool
    – muru
    Dec 7, 2019 at 9:55
  • @muru ext4.....
    – stas
    Dec 7, 2019 at 9:57
  • Birth date isn't accessible from userland.
    – roaima
    Dec 7, 2019 at 9:58
  • @roaima why so?
    – stas
    Dec 7, 2019 at 10:02
  • Correction: statx() from kernel 4.11 onwards does expose btime.
    – roaima
    Dec 9, 2019 at 7:38

1 Answer 1


Like the last change time, the birth time isn’t externally controllable. On file systems which support it, the birth timestamp is set when a file is created, and never changes after that.

If you want to control it, you need to change the system’s notion of the current date and time, and create a new file.


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