touch(1) — Linux manual page


TOUCH(1)                      User Commands                     TOUCH(1)

NAME         top

       touch - change file timestamps

SYNOPSIS         top

       touch [OPTION]... FILE...

DESCRIPTION         top

       Update the access and modification times of each FILE to the
       current time.

       A FILE argument that does not exist is created empty, unless -c
       or -h is supplied.

       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 too.

       -a     change only the access time

       -c, --no-create
              do not create any files

       -d, --date=STRING
              parse STRING and use it instead of current time

       -f     (ignored)

       -h, --no-dereference
              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

       -r, --reference=FILE
              use this file's times instead of current time

       -t STAMP
              use [[CC]YY]MMDDhhmm[.ss] instead of current time

              change the specified time: WORD is access, atime, or use:
              equivalent 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

DATE STRING         top

       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 calendar date, time of day, time zone, day of
       week, relative time, relative 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.

AUTHOR         top

       Written by Paul Rubin, Arnold Robbins, Jim Kingdon, David
       MacKenzie, and Randy Smith.

REPORTING BUGS         top

       GNU coreutils online help:
       Report any translation bugs to

COPYRIGHT         top

       Copyright © 2023 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.

SEE ALSO         top

       Full documentation <>
       or available locally via: info '(coreutils) touch invocation'

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the coreutils (basic file, shell and text
       manipulation utilities) project.  Information about the project
       can be found at ⟨⟩.  If you
       have a bug report for this manual page, see
       ⟨⟩.  This page was obtained
       from the tarball coreutils-9.4.tar.xz fetched from
       ⟨⟩ on 2023-12-22.  If you
       discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page,
       or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for
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       manual page), send a mail to

GNU coreutils 9.4              August 2023                      TOUCH(1)

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