Hide

What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.

Delete that bloated snippets file you've been using and share your personal repository with the world. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.


If you have a new feature suggestion or find a bug, please get in touch via http://commandlinefu.uservoice.com/

Get involved!

You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.

First-time OpenID users will be automatically assigned a username which can be changed after signing in.

Universal configuration monitoring and system of record for IT.
Hide

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for:

Hide

News

May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!
Hide

Top Tags

Hide

Functions

Hide

Credits

A function to find the newest file in a directory

Terminal - A function to find the newest file in a directory
newest () { find ${1:-\.} -type f |xargs ls -lrt ; }
2010-02-04 14:52:17
User: mobidyc
Functions: find ls xargs
3
A function to find the newest file in a directory

Alternatives

There are 2 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
find /path/to/dir -type f -printf "%T@|%p\n" 2>/dev/null | sort -n | tail -n 1| awk -F\| '{print $2}'
newest () { candidate=''; for i in "$@"; do [[ -f $i ]] || continue; [[ -z $candidate || $i -nt $candidate ]] && candidate="$i"; done; echo "$candidate"; }
2009-10-29 17:35:01
User: johnraff
Functions: echo
Tags: bash files
1

Usage example:

newest Desktop/*

Replace "-nt" with "-ot" for oldest.

Run

shopt -s dotglob

first to include dotfiles.

newest () { DIR=${1:-'.'}; CANDIDATE=`find $DIR -type f|head -n1`; while [[ ! -z $CANDIDATE ]]; do BEST=$CANDIDATE; CANDIDATE=`find $DIR -newer "$BEST" -type f|head -n1`; done; echo "$BEST"; }
2010-02-04 12:40:44
User: shadycraig
Functions: echo head
1

Works recusivley in the specified dir or '.' if none given.

Repeatedly calls 'find' to find a newer file, when no newer files exist you have the newest.

In this case 'newest' means most recently modified. To find the most recently created change -newer to -cnewer.

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

I gave my vote to this one:

newest () { find ${1:-\.} -type f |xargs ls -lrt ; }

But I have to ask, why write a function for this when a simple $(ls -ltr) would do? Then again, are we assuming the last file that was modified in that directory wasn't a .file? Then we should do $(ls -altr). My $0.02.

Comment by unixhome 276 weeks ago

I forgot to mention that this function is better for recursive use.

dis you ever try an

ls -lrtR

ls is not not efficiently for this.

Comment by mobidyc 271 weeks and 3 days ago

The top command only works if the list of files is small enough to fit in a single run of ls -- the purpose of xargs is to split a very large number of arguments up according to the OS's maximum supported (usually 4096 at a time or so). So, there will be a separate call to ls -lrt for every batch of 4096 files, and the file at the bottom is the newest in the last batch, but not necessarily the newest overall.

The one by glennie will work (I think), because the "sort -n" waits for the entire output of find before sorting.

Comment by thetrivialstuff 206 weeks and 1 day ago

Your point of view

You must be signed in to comment.