9.7. The Times That find Finds
The times that go with the
-mtime , -atime, and
-ctime often aren't documented
very well. The times are in days:
A number with no sign, for example, 3 (as in
-mtime 3 or -atime 3),
means the 24-hour period that ended exactly 3
days ago (in other words, between 96 and 72 hours ago).
A number with a minus sign (-) refers to the period
since that 24-hour period. For example,
-3 (as in -mtime -3) is any
time between now and 3 days ago (in other words, between 0 and 72
Naturally, a number with a plus sign (+) refers to
the period before that 24-hour period. For
example, +3 (as in -mtime +3)
is any time more than 3 days ago (in other words, more than 96 hours
Got that? Then you should see that -atime -2 and
-atime 1 are both true on files that have been
accessed between 48 and 24 hours ago. (-atime -2
is also true on files accessed 24 hours ago or less.)
For more exact comparisons, use find -newer
with touch (Section 9.8).
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