Manual browser: utime(3)

UTIME(3) Library Functions Manual UTIME(3)


utimeset file times


Standard C Library (libc, -lc)


#include <utime.h>

utime(const char *file, const struct utimbuf *timep);


This interface is obsoleted by utimes(2).

The utime() function sets the access and modification times of the named file.

If timep is NULL, the access and modification times are set to the current time. The calling process must be the owner of the file or have permission to write the file.

If timep is non-NULL, time is assumed to be a pointer to a utimbuf structure, as defined in <utime.h>:

struct utimbuf { 
	time_t actime;          /* Access time */ 
	time_t modtime;         /* Modification time */ 

The access time is set to the value of the actime member, and the modification time is set to the value of the modtime member. The times are measured in seconds since 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds, January 1, 1970 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The calling process must be the owner of the file or be the super-user.

In either case, the inode-change-time of the file is set to the current time.


Upon successful completion, a value of 0 is returned. Otherwise, a value of -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate the error.


utime() will fail if:
Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix; or the times argument is NULL and the effective user ID of the process does not match the owner of the file, and is not the super-user, and write access is denied.
file or times points outside the process's allocated address space.
The pathname contains a character with the high-order bit set.
An I/O error occurred while reading or writing the affected inode.
Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the pathname.
A component of a pathname exceeded 255 characters, or an entire path name exceeded 1023 characters.
The named file does not exist.
A component of the path prefix is not a directory.
The times argument is not NULL and the calling process's effective user ID does not match the owner of the file and is not the super-user.
The file system containing the file is mounted read-only.


stat(2), utimes(2)


The utime() function conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-1990 (“POSIX.1”). It was however marked as legacy in the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”) revision of the standard.


A utime() function appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.
April 29, 2010 NetBSD 7.0