I need to change the timestamp of about 5000 files.

Typing touch file1.txt, touch file2.txt will take me forever.

Is there a way to do something in the lines of touch -R *?

  • 1
    did you mean this touch file{1..3}.txt ? – Avinash Raj Feb 1 '15 at 9:57
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    You didn't specify which shell you are using, but with zsh, touch **/* is convenient. – Marc Glisse Feb 1 '15 at 22:36

You can use find command to find all your files and execute touch on every found file using -exec

find  -type f  -exec touch {} +

If you want to filter your result only for text file, you can use

find  -type f  -name "*.txt" -exec touch {} +
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    I'd suggest using -exec's + terminator (instead of \;). This will chain multiple arguments onto each touch instance (up to the system argument limit) and will therefore fork out much less (and probably be faster). – Oli Feb 1 '15 at 9:53
  • @g_p ... and for a source see What is the difference between using '+' and '\;' in -exec command? – αғsнιη Feb 1 '15 at 16:21
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    And for a dry run, just leave out the -exec touch {} + part, and it'll print to your terminal what it would have affected. – Alex Feb 1 '15 at 20:11
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    Thanks, Although I think 'find' is missing his first parameter. find . -type f -exec touch {} + – giltsl Mar 22 '18 at 9:17
  • What if I only want to change the access time, not the modification time? Should it be "find -type f -exec touch -a {} +"? – weeo Apr 18 '18 at 9:05

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