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Find last modified files in a directory and its subdirectories

Terminal - Find last modified files in a directory and its subdirectories
find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 stat -c'%Y :%y %12s %n' | sort -nr | cut -d: -f2- | head
2013-08-03 09:53:46
User: HerbCSO
Functions: cut find sort stat xargs
5
Find last modified files in a directory and its subdirectories

Goes through all files in the directory specified, uses `stat` to print out last modification time, then sorts numerically in reverse, then uses cut to remove the modified epoch timestamp and finally head to only output the last 10 modified files.

Note that on a Mac `stat` won't work like this, you'll need to use either:

find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 stat -f '%m%t%Sm %12z %N' | sort -nr | cut -f2- | head

or alternatively do a `brew install coreutils` and then replace `stat` with `gstat` in the original command.

Alternatives

There are 2 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

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What others think

The find command has a very rich syntax, and its -printf option gives you a total control for its output. Here the stat command is useless, you can produce a quite similar result with:

find . -type f -printf "%A+ %p\n" | sort -nr | head
Comment by jld 63 weeks and 1 day ago

@jld, good tip, thanks! -printf is unknown to the Mac find (*sigh*), but the coreutils and gfind will work around that.

Also, to be technically accurate, in order to make it the same as my command, you should substitute %A with %T to get the last modified time, i.e.:

find . -type f -printf "%T+ %p\n" | sort -nr | head
Comment by HerbCSO 58 weeks and 1 day ago

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