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Touch for Windows

, 17 Mar 2010 BSD 293.7K 5.6K 68
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This is the touch tool ported to Windows

Introduction

I've seen at least two people asking for a Windows version of the UNIX utility touch this past week. So here it is: a Windows version of the OpenBSD touch command. It's not fully compatible as my utility can only touch one file at a time and does not support the -f argument (force touch, ignoring access rights). However, my version supports altering modification, access and creation time, while the OpenBSD version only supports alteration of access and modification time.

If you have a need for a touch utility which ignores access rights and can handle multiple files (including globing), tell me and I'll see what I can do.

I've also made sure it's UNICODE compatible, but as my system is as western as it gets, I haven't really been able to test it. If you find anything fishy when compiled as a UNICODE binary, please let me know.

What Does It Do?

For those who don't know, here's a simple explanation: It updates the dates associated with a file to whatever you want it to be. It can change access, modification and creation dates. You as a user can update them independently of each other, you can update them with any possible date. Dates can be now, user specified or copied from another file. If you try to touch a file which does not exist, this command will create it for you (empty of course).

You can always run touch -h for help.

Where's the Article?

This is not rocket science. I'm basically just using simple Win32 API functions. Writing an article about it would be like reciting the MSDN documentation. If you are interested in how it works, use the source - it's not big and it doesn't really contain any surprises.

License Grant

You are granted a license to use the code for whatever purpose, if and only if the following conditions are met:

  • You may expect no warranties from my part. If you break something, you fix it.
  • If we meet some day in the flesh, you may buy me a beer of my choice. This is not a requirement, but it would be a very nice thing to do and I would appreciate it. If your religion prohibits you from buying any alcohol, even if not for yourself, a coke is fine or whatever well testing beverage which you find morally and ethically acceptable.

Revision history

  • 2002-11-28 - Initial version
  • 2004-04-03 - Bug fixes: UNICODE, argument parsing, daylight saving, time string parsing
  • 2006-02-15 - Wildcard support, much thanks to PhaetonTheGreat!
  • 2010-03-16 - Wildcard support introduced a bug. Fixed it, and gave touch the ability to handle multiple files and glob patterns
  • 2010-03-17 - Added support for directories per request. See the new -d switch. -r can also be specified to use a directory as a time source

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The BSD License

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About the Author

Jörgen Sigvardsson
Software Developer (Senior)
Sweden Sweden
I make software.

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Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralRe: Thank you! Pin
PhaetonTheGreat!15-Feb-06 0:43
memberPhaetonTheGreat!15-Feb-06 0:43 
GeneralRe: Thank you! Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson15-Feb-06 1:04
memberJörgen Sigvardsson15-Feb-06 1:04 
GeneralGood, but look at .... Pin
amauta2-Feb-05 11:43
memberamauta2-Feb-05 11:43 
GeneralRe: Good, but look at .... Pin
gorfou7-Sep-06 7:19
membergorfou7-Sep-06 7:19 
GeneralI was looking for a good touch :) Pin
Avinoam Sapir19-Jan-05 21:28
memberAvinoam Sapir19-Jan-05 21:28 
Generalquestion Pin
zetroooooo3-Sep-04 19:44
memberzetroooooo3-Sep-04 19:44 
GeneralRe: question Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson3-Sep-04 22:53
memberJörgen Sigvardsson3-Sep-04 22:53 
QuestionDirectory Support? Pin
Adam P.30-May-04 11:33
sussAdam P.30-May-04 11:33 
I was hoping you could add directory support to your touch utility. I have been unable to find any other utilities to modify the creation time stamp of directories.

Thank you for your time.
AnswerRe: Directory Support? Pin
DavidLowndes@msn20-Feb-06 22:37
memberDavidLowndes@msn20-Feb-06 22:37 
AnswerRe: Directory Support? Pin
Willow530-May-09 17:45
memberWillow530-May-09 17:45 
GeneralProblems with Seconds Pin
mario543233-Apr-04 4:10
membermario543233-Apr-04 4:10 
GeneralRe: Problems with Seconds Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson3-Apr-04 6:06
memberJörgen Sigvardsson3-Apr-04 6:06 
GeneralRe: Problems with Seconds Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson3-Apr-04 7:03
memberJörgen Sigvardsson3-Apr-04 7:03 
GeneralFew small FYIs Pin
Joe Woodbury15-Mar-04 7:26
memberJoe Woodbury15-Mar-04 7:26 
GeneralRe: Few small FYIs Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson15-Mar-04 23:41
memberJörgen Sigvardsson15-Mar-04 23:41 
GeneralRe: Few small FYIs Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson3-Apr-04 7:04
memberJörgen Sigvardsson3-Apr-04 7:04 
GeneralRe: Few small FYIs Pin
Nemanja Trifunovic13-Apr-04 10:10
memberNemanja Trifunovic13-Apr-04 10:10 
GeneralRe: Few small FYIs Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson3-Apr-04 7:13
memberJörgen Sigvardsson3-Apr-04 7:13 
Generalmultiple files Pin
JMWillson16-Sep-03 13:45
memberJMWillson16-Sep-03 13:45 
GeneralRe: multiple files Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson16-Sep-03 20:15
memberJörgen Sigvardsson16-Sep-03 20:15 
Generalproblem Pin
sunil_g720-Jul-03 22:48
membersunil_g720-Jul-03 22:48 
GeneralRe: problem Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson20-Jul-03 22:51
memberJörgen Sigvardsson20-Jul-03 22:51 
GeneralRe: problem Pin
Alan M. Taren24-Jul-03 8:38
memberAlan M. Taren24-Jul-03 8:38 
GeneralRe: problem Pin
Jörgen Sigvardsson24-Jul-03 8:41
memberJörgen Sigvardsson24-Jul-03 8:41 
GeneralRe: problem Pin
Anonymous2-Aug-05 1:33
sussAnonymous2-Aug-05 1:33 

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