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Using the command-line, I want to create a log file with today's date in the name (for example, today is 05/17/2011, so the filename would have to be log051711).

I know how to create the file (touch filename), but I don't know how to get today's date. I have looked at the manual for date, but it seems that I can't really format its output?

Any help would be appreciated. :)

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can format the output using the '+FORMAT' parameter, e.g.

touch "log$(date +'%m%d%y')"

See the manpage for what sequences you can use in FORMAT.

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Damn, 36 seconds too slow. ;-) – htorque Oct 17 '11 at 12:03
Thank you, exactly what I was looking for. :) – Louis Bataillard Oct 17 '11 at 12:17
I just figured out that to use this in a cron job, I had to escape the %-signs, so that it read: touch "log$(date +'\%m\%d\%y')" – Louis Bataillard Oct 18 '11 at 19:06
Thanks, that helped a lot for my backup script. – Alex Jan 1 at 2:07

One of the possible soultions:

date +log%y%m%d | xargs touch

creates log111017

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I'm sure somebody else has a better way to do this but assuming you want month-day-year this should work:

touch log`date +%m%d%y`  

and you can reorder the %m, %d, %Y to reflect the ordering you want. The man page for date tells you more about additional formats.

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Running the command

echo "myfilename-"`date +"%d-%m-%Y"`

gives this as the output:

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Actually this will print myfilename-date +%d-%m-%Y. – Adaephon Feb 21 '14 at 6:03
True.. MyFileName is just a prefix.. If needed we can keep it, else.. echo date +"%d-%m-%Y" this is enough... it will print only date 21-02-2014 – Sreedhar GS Feb 21 '14 at 6:10
Ah, now I see: I got confused because the ` did not appear in your answer. This is because they are used by askubuntu to indicate code blocks. You should mark code by either surrounding it with backticks or by indenting the paragraph with the code with 4 spaces. For starters you probably should use the menu above the editor for that and check your post in the preview below the textbox before submitting. – Adaephon Feb 21 '14 at 6:25
I agree.. Thanks for suggestion..:) – Sreedhar GS Feb 21 '14 at 7:48

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