Preserve creation date = birth time for file and folder

Hello developers,

I used JingOS for the first time and my first real Linux.

The problem when I tested the default file manager on JingOS (v0.6). Can’t preserve it at all creation date for folders and files when copying. It automatically sets to current system time. I have not found any function to change this behavior.

For comparison I tested macOS 11 and iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 devices, so Unix like systems.

I have been using macOS for more than 20 years and iOS/iPadOS devices for about 2 years and can generally preserve creation time for files and folders with the default file manager.

A screenshot of Finder on macOS.

You see in this case a folder

  • Created: Friday, 9 August 2019 at 11:30 PM
  • Modified: Friday, 9 August 2019 at 11:30 PM

If I copy this folder + files in the same folder to my external backup hard drive, Created date and Modified date remain the same for the copied folders and files. A logical behavior. The same works on iOS and iPadOS.

When I do the same task with JingOS using the default file manager it does not work. An example I have a folder with this timestamp

  • Created: Friday, 9 August 2019 at 11:30 PM
  • Modified: Frida, 9 August 2019 at 11:30 PM

-> copy folder (+ files in folder) to my external backup hard drive

=

  • Created: Thursday, 18 February 2021 at 11:30 PM
  • Modified: Friday, 9 August 2019 at 11:30 PM

What happened? JingOS has set my copied folder and files only for Created date to current system time, which means it no longer has the same Created date as the source. This is exactly the behavior I don’t like and one of the main reasons why I don’t use JingOS everyday.

What about Android? I also have an Android 11 device for comparison, Android only supports Modified date. So Created Date is not supported from Android system. This is also the main reason why I use iOS/iPadOS devices for file management instead of Android devices.

Creation date is not POSIX standard, so Linux (and Android) applications don’t use it.

Creation date is use in Linux. The standard file manager (Dolphin) shows it.

But I want to preserve Creation date. It would be good if the JingOS developer can add the same behavior as macOS and iOS/iPadOS. The behavior is then exactly the same as Modified date when I copy folders and files. Everything remains the same as the source. This should be the default behavior, can you add it JingOS developer?

If you copy a file to another directory, then a new file is created. So I think it is a desired behavior to update the creation date. You may submit an issue to Issues · System / Dolphin · GitLab, anyway.

@Voltflashspeed

This is not an application problem. FreeBSD or OpenBSD + KDE Plasma + Dolphin and filesystems that store creation time, like ext4, ZFS or Btrfs there are no problems. The creation time is displayed and preserved. An example is also you can use rsync on supported operating systems to preserve the modification time and creation time.

rsync -Nt or rsync --crtimes --times

On Linux only --times is supported, --crtimes is not supported.

Note: There are also other operating systems that are not Unix and Linux, but can also display and preserve the creation time, an example are BeOS and Haiku OS.

@Voltflashspeed

The problem is the Linux system. Linux system does not support this task in general. Because of this reason, Google developers never added it to Android system, I asked some Chinese Google developers in USA some years ago.

If Android was based on Unix, this problem would not exist. This is also the main reason why iOS and macOS support it. Apple has generally supported creation time since at least 1984 with Macintosh software 0.97 in Finder 1.0.

In addition, Apple has also paid attention to usability in other transfer methods, so when iOS users send files to macOS or other iOS devices with AirDrop (local drathless transfers), the creation time is also preserved.

Linux file systems, such as Btrfs, can also be used on Windows with the open source driver WinBtrfs GitHub - maharmstone/btrfs: WinBtrfs - an open-source btrfs driver for Windows.

The user can access it with suitable file manager software on Windows that fully supports creation time, such as Multi Commander. The user can then view and preserve all his files and folders from Btrfs with all the timestamps (modification time and creation time) complete. It is also possible to preserve the milliseconds.