Introduction to UNIX for Web Developers Creating a File Of course, the easiest way to create a file is to use a word processor like vi or emacs. However, there are a few utilities which you can use to create files from the command line as well.

The "touch" Utility
The touch utility simply creates an empty file of a given name using the syntax:

touch filename


[touch Example]

[Spacer] As you can see from the example above, if the file already exists, it will modify the access time without changing the contents of the file.

The touch utility offers the following options

touch [options] MMDDhhmmYY filelist

Option Explanation
-a Specifies the access time
-c Instructs touch to not create a file not specified in the list
-m Specifies the modify time
MMDDhhmmYY The time and date for setting files
filelist Space delimited list of files to apply time to.

Using Redirection
A more useful tool for creating files from the command line is redirection. Typically, you will use redirection to save the output of a command in the body of a file. for example, check out how we use redirection in the following example to crate a file with the directory listing.

[Example of output redirection]

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