After doing some experimentation of my own, I noticed that the access times on files are not always updated when accessed, either through a text editor -- without modifying the file -- or cat.

Although I don't have the server edition of Ubuntu installed, I imagine this would be pretty useful in a server environment, in cases where a breach is suspected.

In particular, I'd like to know which file I need to modify so that the access times on files get automatically updated no matter how many times they're accessed.

  • A reproducible example, please
    – muru
    Oct 30, 2017 at 4:05
  • @muru Sure. I'll create a non-existing file with touch file1.txt. Then I will attempt to access the file's contents using cat file1.txt, which will modify the access time, but then if I type cat file1.txt a second time, a few minutes later, the access time won't change. Oct 30, 2017 at 4:13
  • 3
  • Looks like relatime in action. Maybe mount with strictatime.
    – muru
    Oct 30, 2017 at 4:20
  • I read the answer in the link you provided. Is there anyway I can change a configuration file so that /home or even / is mounted automatically with the strictatime option? Oct 30, 2017 at 4:25


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