A function to find the newest file in a directory

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 "$BEST"; }
Works recusivley in the specified dir or '.' if none given. Repeatedly calls 'find' to find a newer file, when no newer files exist you have the newest. In this case 'newest' means most recently modified. To find the most recently created change -newer to -cnewer.
Sample Output
[user@localhost ~]$ newest /var/www/html/
/var/www/html/manual/createCustomColumn.png
[user@localhost ~]$

1
2010-02-04 12:40:44

3 Alternatives + Submit Alt

What Others Think

The manpage find says that this will show the most recently *modified* file, which may not be the most recently created. You could also just use ls: ls -lrt The recursive aspect of your solution is neat though. +1
bwoodacre · 437 weeks ago
Thanks bwoodacre, I wasn't clear on this but that was my interpretation of 'newest'. I have stated the assumption in the description now.
shadycraig · 436 weeks and 6 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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