I was looking through my file system and noticed that the date of mysql-v5.jar is formatted incorrectly.

~/Dev/Lib$ ls -l  
total 29128  
-rw-r-----@ 1 johndoe  staff   2256213 Mar 16  2015 guava-18.0.jar  
-rw-r--r--@ 1 johndoe  staff  11684781 Jan 30  2012 kuromoji-0.7.7.jar
-rw-r--r--@ 1 johndoe  staff    968670 May  4 16:18 mysql-v5.jar

What is going on?

(So far, all 3 jar files have worked just fine for me. I can't remember where I downloaded those files from.)

  • @Tetsujin the reason I did the tag I did was to make the 16:18 bold (which is impossible with standard markdown). However, if you are going to use the four space indent, one should put <!-- language: lang-none --> in front of it to disable the syntax highlighting that is distracting when it isn't a programming language.
    – user24239
    Nov 1, 2015 at 19:37
  • I hadn't even noticed the bold - doesn't stand out much & have no idea how to get the no lang tag to work, so I just rolled it back. Usually the pre tag just messes up SE markdown so I binned it without even really thinking about it. Rolled back, looks fine.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 1, 2015 at 19:44
  • @Tetsujin the bold is a subtle look in <pre>, and it does take some care to get it just right (especially if you do want code formatting in there - example). Its doable, though it often takes a try or two to get it just right without messing up the rest of the formatting (insert rant about grey lines with just white space above and below the preformat block...). Always, thank you for the revert back.
    – user24239
    Nov 1, 2015 at 21:39
  • Worth mentioning there are a couple of date parameters to ls that make this less ambiguous. Try ls -T on OS X.
    – miken32
    Nov 2, 2015 at 15:10
  • 1
    @miken32 For me, in an OS X bash shell, ls -lT gives the consistent date format.
    – david.t
    Nov 2, 2015 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


From man ls (The Long Format):

If the modification time of the file is more than 6 months in the past or future, then the year of the last modification is displayed in place of the hour and minute fields.

Or in other words: It works as designed.

  • 4
    I especially like the "6 months in the ... future" part :-)
    – nohillside
    Nov 1, 2015 at 16:30
  • 3
    3 days and 5 hours from now, I would not have been able to notice that about the long format!
    – david.t
    Nov 1, 2015 at 16:40
  • confirmed. This afternoon, the year, instead of the time of mysql-v5.jar, began to be displayed.
    – david.t
    Nov 5, 2015 at 3:21

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