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Re: ctime updated unexpectedly

> Hi everyone,
> I wonder if someone could clear up an issue I'm having with ls -c (sorting 
> files by ctime). As I understand it, the ctime is only updated when file 
> status information (such as permissions) changes, or a file is completely 
> recreated. It looks to me though, like the ctime is being updated every 
> time the contents of a file change.

You misunderstand ctime, as specified by POSIX.  See, section 4.7, and various other places within POSIX.  ctime is required to reflect any change to a file's metadata _or contents_.  Also, while mtime can be arbitrarily changed (think utimes()), ctime is supposed to be an accurate side effect of file modification that cannot be spoofed.

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