Touch command is one of the basic commands in Linux/UNIX flavor machines for working with files.


Touch command practical usages:

To create empty files in a directory.

To update the timestamp of the file without changing the content.


Creation of empty file:


touch file-name1


Command example output:

[admin@linbox1 ~]$ touch file1


[admin@linbox1 ~]$ ls -l
total 0
-rw-rw-r--. 1 admin admin  0 Jul 25 15:23 file1


If you observe that created file size is “0”. i.e, nothing is there in the file.

[admin@linbox1 ~]$ cat file1


Updating the modified time of the file:

If the file is already created then with touch command, its modified time is updated.



[root@linbox1 admin]# ls -l file1
-rw-rw-r--. 1 admin admin 12 Jul 25 15:28 file1


[root@linbox1 admin]# touch file1


[root@linbox1 admin]# ls -l file1
-rw-rw-r--. 1 admin admin 12 Jul 25 16:55 file1


Practical usage,

Sometimes, an automated script missed a file to consider, then we want to modify the file timestamp for getting picked up by script.


Creating multiple empty files with touch command:

With touch command, we can create multiple files at a time in directory.

Why we need multiple empty files? Any business case here?

Practical usage example…



touch file-name1 file-name2


 Command  Example Output:

[admin@linbox1 ~]$ touch abcfile1 abcfile2


Listing the files:

[admin@linbox1 ~]$ ls -l abc*
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Jul 25 17:13 abcfile1
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Jul 25 17:13 abcfile2


Topics Summary