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The ext2 filesystem inode structure has 4 timestamps:
I've found two kinds of explanations about them:
i_ctime - The time in which the inode was last allocated. In other words, the time in which the file was created.
i_mtime - The time in which the file was last modified.
i_atime - The time in which the file was last accessed.
i_dtime - The time in which the inode was deallocated. In other words, the time in which the file was deleted.
i_ctime - 32bit value representing the number of seconds since january 1st 1970, of when the inode was created.
i_mtime - 32bit value representing the number of seconds since january 1st 1970, of the last time this inode was modified.
i_atime - 32bit value representing the number of seconds since january 1st 1970 of the last time this inode was accessed.
i_dtime - 32bit value representing the number of seconds since january 1st 1970, of when the inode was deleted.
One say those times are about the inode while one say those times are about the file. i_ctime and i_dtime can be understood. Either inode or file is the same. But what about the i_mtime and i_atime?
For i_mtime, inode modification equals to file modification?
For i_atime, inode access equals to file access?
Which saying is right?
Sorry ... I still don't get it. Question is still about i_atime and i_mtime. If a member of i_node structure (say i_mode) is accessed (say by stat()), does this mean the file is also accessed? I mean, an inode has many members, does access to each member mean an access to the file? Same doubt with i_mtime. Does modification to each member mean modification to the file?
File has two types of data metadata and actual data. Inode contains metadata like filename, permission, time stamp, pointer etc and actual data stored on HDD sector. When user create file, Filesystem allocate one free inode to that file. in other word filename link to inode. When user access files indirectly inode is access.