Enhanced File Stats Being Worked On For The Linux Kernel
Red Hat has been working on a new statx system call for the Linux kernel to provide "enhanced" file information.
This new statx() system call would be able to return the file's creation time, data version number, and other new attributes not currently provided. These new attributes wouldn't work for all file-systems, but would work for a subset of them such as CIFS, NFS, and others that track such information.
There's also support for a lightweight stat for providing basic information without needing to sync to the server for network file-systems while a heavyweight stat would force such a sync.
This new system call is also designed to better protect against the Year 2038 problem, better BSD stat compatibility, extra coherency data that could be useful for backups, and more.
This is just a quick summary of the proposed statx system call for the Linux kernel. Those interested in enhanced file stats can see this patch series and particularly this patch that provides an overview of the new capabilities as well as detailing what file-systems can provide the particular stats.