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FAQ 5.24 How do I get a file's timestamp in perl?

This is an excerpt from the latest version perlfaq5.pod, which
comes with the standard Perl distribution. These postings aim to
reduce the number of repeated questions as well as allow the community
to review and update the answers. The latest version of the complete
perlfaq is at http://faq.perl.org .


5.24: How do I get a file's timestamp in perl?

    If you want to retrieve the time at which the file was last read,
    written, or had its meta-data (owner, etc) changed, you use the -A, -M,
    or -C file test operations as documented in perlfunc. These retrieve the
    age of the file (measured against the start-time of your program) in
    days as a floating point number. Some platforms may not have all of
    these times. See perlport for details. To retrieve the "raw" time in
    seconds since the epoch, you would call the stat function, then use
    localtime(), gmtime(), or POSIX::strftime() to convert this into
    human-readable form.

    Here's an example:

            $write_secs = (stat($file))[9];
            printf "file %s updated at %s\n", $file,
            scalar localtime($write_secs);

    If you prefer something more legible, use the File::stat module (part of
    the standard distribution in version 5.004 and later):

            # error checking left as an exercise for reader.
            use File::stat;
            use Time::localtime;
            $date_string = ctime(stat($file)->mtime);
            print "file $file updated at $date_string\n";

    The POSIX::strftime() approach has the benefit of being, in theory,
    independent of the current locale. See perllocale for details.


The perlfaq-workers, a group of volunteers, maintain the perlfaq. They
are not necessarily experts in every domain where Perl might show up,
so please include as much information as possible and relevant in any
corrections. The perlfaq-workers also don't have access to every
operating system or platform, so please include relevant details for
corrections to examples that do not work on particular platforms.
Working code is greatly appreciated.

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