TOUCH(1) User Commands TOUCH(1)
touch – change file timestamps
touch [OPTION]… FILE…
Update the access and modification times of each FILE to the current
A FILE argument that does not exist is created empty, unless -c or -h
A FILE argument string of – is handled specially and causes touch to
change the times of the file associated with standard output.
Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options
-a change only the access time
do not create any files
parse STRING and use it instead of current time
affect each symbolic link instead of any referenced file (useful
only on systems that can change the timestamps of a symlink)
-m change only the modification time
use this file’s times instead of current time
use [[CC]YY]MMDDhhmm[.ss] instead of current time
change the specified time: WORD is access, atime, or use: equiv‐
alent to -a WORD is modify or mtime: equivalent to -m
–help display this help and exit
output version information and exit
Note that the -d and -t options accept different time-date formats.
The –date=STRING is a mostly free format human readable date string
such as “Sun, 29 Feb 2004 16:21:42 -0800” or “2004-02-29 16:21:42” or
even “next Thursday”. A date string may contain items indicating cal‐
endar date, time of day, time zone, day of week, relative time, rela‐
tive date, and numbers. An empty string indicates the beginning of the
day. The date string format is more complex than is easily documented
here but is fully described in the info documentation.
Written by Paul Rubin, Arnold Robbins, Jim Kingdon, David MacKenzie,
and Randy Smith.
GNU coreutils online help:
Report touch translation bugs to
Copyright © 2016 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU
GPL version 3 or later
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
Full documentation at:
or available locally via: info ‘(coreutils) touch invocation’
GNU coreutils 8.25 February 2016 TOUCH(1)