setfile (xcode Developer Tools)

Set attributes of HFS+ files. It attempts to be similar to the setfile command in MPW. It can apply rules to more than one file with the options applying to all files listed.

      SetFile [-a attributes] [-c creator] [-d date] [-m date] [-t type] file

     -a attributes  Sets the file attributes bits where attributes is a string
        of case sensitive letters. Each letter corresponds to a
        file attribute: an uppercase letter indicates that the
        attribute bit is set (1), a lowercase letter indicates
        that it is not (0).   Note: attributes not specified remain

        A | a    Alias file

        B | b    Has bundle

        C | c    Custom icon (allowed on folders)

        D | d    Located on the desktop (allowed on folders)

        E | e    Extension is hidden (allowed on folders)

        I | i    Inited - Finder is aware of this file and has
           given it a location in a window. (allowed on

        L | l    Locked

        M | m    Shared (can run multiple times)

        N | n    File has no INIT resource

        S | s    System file (name locked)

        T | t    "Stationery Pad" file

        V | v    Invisible (allowed on folders)

     -c creator      Specifies the file's creator, where creator is a string of
        exactly four characters.

     -d date      Sets the creation date, where date is a string of the
        form: "mm/dd/[yy]yy [hh:mm:[:ss] [AM | PM]]" Notes:
        Enclose the string in quotation marks if it contains
        spaces. Period '.' represents the current date and time.
        [yy]yy < 100 assumes 21th century, e.g.20yy.

     -m date      Sets the modification date where date is a string of the
        form in -d above. (mm/dd/[yy]yy [hh:mm:[:ss] [AM | PM]])

     -t type      Sets the file type, where type is a string of exactly four

SetFile is part of


Set the creator and type for the ResEqual tool:

$ SetFile -c "MPS " -t MPST ResEqual

Set the modification date of "myFile":

$ SetFile -m "8/4/2001 16:13" myFile

Set myfile.txt to be invisible in the finder:

$ SetFile -a V myfile.txt

Set myfile.txt to be visible in the finder:

$ SetFile -a v myfile.txt

Return Values
0 - attributes set
1 - syntax error
2 - any other error

“Drunk with power isn't the same as being drunk with booze” ~ Craig Ferguson

Related macOS commands

chflags - Change a file or folder's flags.
GetFileInfo - Get attributes of HFS+ files.
textutil - Manipulate text files in various formats.

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