GNU stroke

Dynamically changing modification, access, and change time components


  1. Information
  2. Download
  3. Donations
  4. News
  5. Examples
  6. More information
  7. Bugs
  8. Authors

1 Information

Oftentimes it is desirable to exclusively change a few specific components of a file's modification, access, or change time. However, the method provided by the conventional touch utility appears inadequate for this basic task. More than that, easily modifying a file's change time is not possible at all.

Stroke is a small tool that offers a solution by providing a user with an extended command line interface that allows her to utilize an easy syntax to dynamically specify certain date and time components to be altered.

All in all stroke can be seen as a potent alternative to touch that leaves a user with more options.

2 Download

Download latest release from SourceForge:

Installation of pre-built deb-binary package for Ubuntu or Debian:
`sudo dpkg -i stroke_0.X-1_i386.deb'

Installation of pre-built rpm-binary package for RedHat, SuSE, Fedora, Mandriva:
`sudo rpm -i stroke-0.X-1.i386.rpm'

3 Donations

Your support keeps the community alive, please consider to make a donation.

4 News

Version 0.1.4 (15 January 2012) Version 0.1.3 (03 March 2011) Version 0.1.2 (15 February 2010) Version 0.1.1 (2 August 2009) Version 0.1 (27 May 2009)

5 Examples

A few practical invocation examples are given here to illustrate the general use of stroke:
  1. stroke mM=aM=3 *.jpg

    In this example, the month value of access and modification time of all `*.jpg' files in the current directory is changed to 3 (March).

  2. stroke -ctime cY=mY,cM=mM,cD=mD,ch=ah=mh <file>

    Set a file's change time date components equal to those of its modification time. Moreover, set its change time and access time hour component equal to that of its modification time.

  3. stroke -preserve mY=aY=++,mM=aM=-2 <file>

    Increment a file's modification and access time year value by one and decrement its modification and access time month value by 2 while preserving the file's change time at it its original value.

  4. stroke -c -s 0005132305.23:mac <file>

    Set a files modification, access, and change time to the date indicated by the time stamp given; this would be the 13th of May 2000, at 11:05:23 pm.

Here is a sample screenshot of stroke being used.

6 More information

Detailed information on how to use stroke may extensively be obtained from the manual page stroke (1) that is supplied with the package.
It can also be accessed online here:

Alternatively, taking a glance at the output as produced by the `stroke -help' command may serve as a good source of succinct information:

7 Bugs

Please help by reporting bugs using the following SourceForge tracker: A bug report should loosely contain the following information: a simple description of the fault, program output and error code if appropriate, directions on how to reproduce the bug.

8 Authors

As of this version, stroke has mostly been written by Sören Wellhöfer <>

You are welcome to contact him for comments, wishes/suggestions, and contribution offerings/requests. If you have created patches or fixes of any kind, please do also send them in to him. After validation, they will be thankfully incorporated into the project.

Contributors or people that have sent in patches or fixes are listed below, if they wish so; this list will be continued to be updated.

Copyright (C) 2009-2012, Free Software Foundation, Inc.