Linux: Find Files By Date

Posted on in Categories last updated July 3, 2010

How do I find file by date under UNIX and Linux?

Linux and UNIX like operating systems do not store file creation time. However, you can use file access and modification time and date to find out file by date.

ls Command Example

The syntax is as follows:

ls -l  | grep 'yyyy-mm-dd'
ls -l | grep --color=auto '2006-01-05'


  • 2006 – Year
  • 01 – Month
  • 05 – Day

You can sort it as follows:

ls -lu | grep --color=auto '2006-01-05'

find Command Example

If you need a specific date range many days ago, than consider using the find command. In this example find files modified between Jan/1/2007 and Jan/1/2008, in /data/images directory:

touch --date "2007-01-01" /tmp/start
touch --date "2008-01-01" /tmp/end
find /data/images -type f -newer /tmp/start -not -newer /tmp/end

You can save list to a text file called output.txt as follows:

find /data/images -type f -newer /tmp/start -not -newer /tmp/end > output.txt

List ALL *.c File Accessed 30 Days Ago

Type the following command

find /home/you -iname "*.c" -atime -30 -type -f

See also:

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

4 comment

  1. There is an option to find, -newermt, which allows direct date comparisons. It is documented under the “-newerXY” option, where X and Y represent sub-options, which in this example are X=m for modified date, and Y=t for literal time. So for example, “find . -newermt “Sep 1 2006” -and \! -newermt “Sep 10 2006” will match all files modified between Sep 1 2006 and Sep 10 2006.

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