GNOME 40 Will Finally Show File Creation Times Within Its File Manager

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 12 January 2021 at 08:44 PM EST. 50 Comments
Finally in 2021 with the GNOME 40 release is the ability of GNOME's Nautilus file manager to show and sort by file creation times...

Going back more than a decade have been requests for being able to show timestamps for when files are created within the GNOME file manager or to be able to sort by file creation times in a folder rather than the last modified date. Initially that was blocked by the Linux kernel / file-systems exposing the information while in recent years that's been addressed and more time until it was implemented for GNOME.

Approaching five years ago the statx system call for "enhanced file stats" was added to the Linux kernel for exposing extra information like file creation times. Since Linux 4.13~4.15, that infrastructure has been solid and also supported by the likes of EXT4, Btrfs, F2FS, and other file-systems for the extended stats.

Nearly two years ago KDE added file creation time support using this system call while finally in 2021 with GNOME 40 the Nautilus file manager will be providing similar support.

Following GNOME's GLib library adding the underlying support, the Nautilus GNOME 40 Alpha release supports showing the file creation time as part of the properties dialog and also sorting files in a given folder by file creation time. This does depend upon GNOME 40 being run from a supported kernel and an underlying file-system providing the information.

More details on this long overdue capability for GNOME via this blog post talking about the "Files 40.alpha" features by GNOME developer
António Fernandes.
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