By default, file timestamps are listed in abbreviated form, using a date like ‘Mar 30 2002’ for non-recent timestamps, and a date-without-year and time like ‘Mar 30 23:45’ for recent timestamps. This format can change depending on the current locale as detailed below.
A timestamp is considered to be recent if it is less than six months old, and is not dated in the future. If a timestamp dated today is not listed in recent form, the timestamp is in the future, which means you probably have clock skew problems which may break programs like make that rely on file timestamps.
Time stamps are listed according to the time zone rules specified by the TZ environment variable, or by the system default rules if TZ is not set. See Specifying the Time Zone with TZ.
The following option changes how file timestamps are printed.
If format contains two format strings separated by a newline,
the former is used for non-recent files and the latter for recent
files; if you want output columns to line up, you may need to insert
spaces in one of the two formats.
This is useful because the time output includes all the information that
is available from the operating system. For example, this can help
explain make's behavior, since GNU make
uses the full timestamp to determine whether a file is out of date.
newline=' ' ls -l --time-style="+%Y-%m-%d $newline%m-%d %H:%M" ls -l --time-style="iso"
The LC_TIME locale category specifies the timestamp format. The default POSIX locale uses timestamps like ‘Mar 30 2002’ and ‘Mar 30 23:45’; in this locale, the following two ls invocations are equivalent:
newline=' ' ls -l --time-style="+%b %e %Y$newline%b %e %H:%M" ls -l --time-style="locale"
Other locales behave differently. For example, in a German locale,
--time-style="locale" might be equivalent to
--time-style="+%e. %b %Y $newline%e. %b %H:%M"
and might generate timestamps like ‘30. Mär 2002 ’ and
‘30. Mär 23:45’.
You can specify the default value of the --time-style option with the environment variable TIME_STYLE; if TIME_STYLE is not set the default style is ‘locale’. GNU Emacs 21.3 and later use the --dired option and therefore can parse any date format, but if you are using Emacs 21.1 or 21.2 and specify a non-POSIX locale you may need to set ‘TIME_STYLE="posix-long-iso"’.
To avoid certain denial-of-service attacks, timestamps that would be longer than 1000 bytes may be treated as errors.