In Python the os module should have something to modify it (one would
think so since it can read this fs meta). If not, you could write a
script to change the system clock to the original read time stamp of
the file, modify the file, than change the clock back- would do the
job of maintaining the modified attribute. Heh, probably not easier,
but the best my work wired mind could come up with on a Friday :-)
Jeremy MountainJohnson
Jeremy.MountainJohnson at

On Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 5:17 PM, Mike Miller <mbmiller+l at> wrote:
> I don't know the best way to do this.  I wanted to change some files but I
> wanted to keep the original timestamps.  So I did it this way:
> # get the timestamp
> TIME_STRING=$(date -d "$(stat -c %y FILE)" +"%Y%m%d%H%M.%S")
> make changes to FILE
> # change the timestamp back to what it was before the change
> touch -t $TIME_STRING FILE
> My use was something like this:
> for FILE in $(grep -l FOO) ; do
>    TIME_STRING=$(date -d "$(stat -c %y "$FILE")" +"%Y%m%d%H%M.%S")
>    perl -pi -e 's/FOO/BAR/' "$FILE"
>    touch -t $TIME_STRING "$FILE"
> done
> So how do you all do this kind of thing?
> Mike
> _______________________________________________
> TCLUG Mailing List - Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
> tclug-list at