Interpretations

Answering questions that may arise related to the meaning of portions of an IEEE standard concerning specific applications.

IEEE Standards Interpretation for IEEE Std 1003.1™-1990 IEEE Standard for Information Technology--Portable Operating System Interfaces (POSIX®)

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Interpretation Request #12
Topic: rename() impact on .. ctime Relevant Sections: 5.5.3.2

In 5.5.3.2 Description [Rename a File], page 100, lines 584-585:
"Upon successful completion, the rename() function shall mark for update the st_ctime and st_mtime fields of the parent directory of each file."

If a directory containing an entry for dot-dot is renamed, is a conforming implementation required to mark for update the st_ctime and st_mtime fields of the renamed directory?

Interpretation Response
It is unspecified whether the time fields of the directory are updated.

Rationale for Interpretation
It is only the parent(s) of "old" and "new" which are required to be marked for update. It is unspecified whether the directory entry for dot-dot is considered to be file data and, as such, it is unspecified whether it is implementation-defined or unspecified that the time fields of the directory are updated. A better understanding can be obtained by reading POSIX.1-1990 subclause 2.3.5.