I have a directory listing with many subdirectories having many files. I want to recursively search for the oldest 5 files starting from the base directory and not 5 from each subdirectory. I am writing a shell script which sorts them using ls -lRtur|egrep "txt|jpg" > /tmp/file1 Now from this /tmp/file1 file I want to sort the files same as what the ls -ltr command does that is oldest file time to newest file time first. How do I sort based on Linux time stamp? The files itself also have Linux timestamps embedded in them So I can sort based after extracting them as well if it is easier. My /tmp/file1 has entries like below. -rw-rw-r--. 1 usr1 usr1 705 2010-01-22 17:25 sample20100603173659.jpg I want to get the 5 oldest files and then delete them.