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Why are the timestamps on files so old on my newly installed system?

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linux-howto

http://unix.stackexchange.com – I installed the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 on a client system today. If it is of any concern, it's running on the bare metal. After the installation was completed, I did ls -ltr / and it showed a complete list along with dates of files and folders. To my surprise, the dates mentioned there are some time in the past, way before I started the installation. Can someone clarify on what's going on here? (HowTos)