Use SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH with GNU install

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at
Tue Jul 21 15:28:29 UTC 2020

On 7/20/20 5:47 AM, David Kleuker wrote:
> Hello,
> i compared 2 installed packages and found out that the creation time
> differ.
> They are created with GNU install.
>  How can i set that to SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH?

The `install` program has a -p option to preserve the initial timestamp
of the source file, which is probably a date preserved in turn by a
tarball extraction.

More generally, packaging systems such as pacman/dpkg/rpm usually have
builtin mechanisms to homogenize file creation times. Either by setting
all files to SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH or by "clamping" files to that time (only
resetting the creation time if it is more recent than SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH).

> That's probably the most basic question, but i found no answer on the
> internet and don't know how to search a mailing list. A Discourse
> forum would be more accessible.

Depends on the mailing list and the site. Many people use this website
to view mailing lists, which provides a nice searchable interface:

Personally I loathe discourse and am happy it isn't used. I find it very
difficult to search and navigate. I'm also not a fan of the way it tries
to be the Facebook of forums (very unsuited to technical discussion), or
loads gigantic bloaty pages, and would prefer simpler forum software
that has gotten the job done for decades. Though that might just be me.

Eli Schwartz
Arch Linux Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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