Getting the Last Modification Timestamp of a File with Stat

If we want to get just the date mod­i­fied, for a file, in a for­mat of our choos­ing. This can be done with a util­i­ty called stat.

The syn­tax is as follows:

stat -f <format> -t "<timestamp format>" <path to file>

In this exam­ple, we are print­ing just the date cre­at­ed in the for­mat YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.

stat -f "%Sm" -t "%Y%m%d_%H%M%S" filename.txt

We are using the -f “%Sm flag to spec­i­fy that we want to print out only the date mod­i­fied. The -t “%Y%m%d_%H%M%S” sets the date format.

In my exam­ple, the out­put was:


This trans­lates to Novem­ber 30, 2012 at 18:02:21.