Re: Suggestion: xtime as new inode attribute

From: Junio C Hamano
Date: Fri Dec 18 2009 - 19:20:11 EST

Daniel Poelzleithner <poelzi@xxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> I would like to suggest a new attribute for inodes in linux filesystems
> to record the last execution time of files.
> The problem:
> If a linux installation gets older and older, more and more programs get
> installed over time. Mostly to just test them for a particular problem
> and often the deinstallation is forgotten. To find out which packages
> are not used for a long time is currently quite impossible. The user may
> use program X which will run but not depend on program Y as a subprocess
> for example.
> The solution:
> I suggest a new inode attribute called xtime, which is like atime, but
> will only be updated when a file is executed. This would allow tracking
> of unused binaries and could be used with some clever algorithms in the
> cleanup program to find unused packages for removal or other cleanup
> purposes.

As I've never seen "cat /bin/sh" or similar done on an executable binary
by sane people, and I imagine that most sane back-up programs wouldn't
touch atime, I suspect that what you want to do can be done by checking
atime instead.
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