touch command...

Jerry Feldman gaf at
Fri Feb 25 07:36:03 EST 2000

The touch command is very useful in some cases, such as in a development 
environment when you want something like make to rebuild. It is also useful 
for archival reasons. Some examples might be,
in development when I want to do a make depend type of operation, I might 
touch a file in a directory, say the .depend file. Let's say I am on a time 
sharing system and I have a file in /tmp which I want to keep there. I can 
touch it daily. Or, I might have a script that does incremental backups:
find . -newer .lastback -exec add-file-to-archive {} \;
if [[ success ]] then
	touch .lastback
The above script finds all files that are more recent than the file, 
.lastback. If the operation was successful then it touches the .lastback 

"Kevin M. Gleason" wrote:
> What is the purpose of the Unix/Linux touch command except for
> programmer to say, "I really did have it done on such and such a date"?
> (And didn't). Are we talking archival inclusion or something?
Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix user group

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