atime, ctime and mtime in Unix filesystems

As you know, Unix filesystems store a number of timestamps for each file. This means that you can use these timestamps to find out when any file or directory was last accessed (read from or written to),  changed (file access permissions were changed) or modified (written to).

File and directory timestamps in Unix

Three times tracked for each file in Unix are these:

  • access time atime
  • change time – ctime
  • modify time – mtime

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How To List Directories in a Directory in Unix

Another quick answer to the question I see a lot in search queries on this blog: listing directories in a directory. I take it that this question means showing a list of only the directories and not other files under a certain location of your Unix filesystem.

Using find to show only directories

find command helps you show only the directories by using a -type d parameter.

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How To Find a Location of a Directory in Unix

Very quick tip for you today, I just see that many of visitors of this block are curious how they can find a directory in Unix – and so here's a command to help you do just that.

Finding directories in Unix

There's nothing better than to employ the find command. As you might remember, among many things, this wonderful tool allows you to search files by their type. Since nearly everything in Unix is a file, this means you can find directories.

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How To Find the Default Block Size in Unix

The questions about default block sizes used in your Unix system are always popular. Today I'd like to show you a few ways to answer them.

Default block size in Linux

If you ever want to confirm the block size of any filesystem of Ubuntu or any other Linux OS, tune2fs command is here to help:

ubuntu# tune2fs -l /dev/sda1 | grep Block
Block count:              4980736
Block size:               4096
Blocks per group:         32768

From this example, you can see that the default block size for the filesystem on /dev/sda1 partition is 4096 bytes, or 4k. That's the default block size for ext3 filesystem.

Default block size in Solaris

The default block size in Solaris is 8192 bytes, or 8k. However, some architectures allow you to use 4k size as well, by specifying it as a command line option for the newfs command.

To be absolutely sure, you can use one of the commands: df -g (takes a filesystem mount point name as the parameter – / or /usr for example) or use fstyp -v command (needs a character device of the filesystem you're interested in).

Using df -g to confirm the filesystem block size

This command can be used as any user, so to confirm a block size for any of the filesystems you don't have to be root. However, it works only for mounted filesystems.

bash-3.00$ df -g /
/                  (/dev/dsk/c1t0d0s0 ):         8192 block size          1024 frag size
12405898 total blocks    4399080 free blocks  4275022 available         751296 total files
603544 free files     30932992 filesys id
ufs fstype       0x00000004 flag             255 filename length

Using fstyp -v to confirm the filesystem block size

Because this command accesses the character device of a particular filesystem, you have to be root to run it. But as a bonus compared to df -g, you can use fstyp -v on an unmounted filesystem:

bash-3.00# fstyp -v /dev/dsk/c1t0d0s0 | grep ^bsize
bsize   8192    shift   13      mask    0xffffe000