Linux Date Command: Convert Named Stats Dump Date

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The rndc stats commands created /var/named/chroot/var/named/data/named_stats.txt file under RHEL 5.x or CentOS 5.x BIND 9 server. However, date is not is correct format. The date is in the following format:
grep ‘Dump’ /var/named/chroot/var/named/data/named_stats.txt


+++ Statistics Dump +++ (1263408025)
— Statistics Dump — (1263408025)
+++ Statistics Dump +++ (1263408071)
— Statistics Dump — (1263408071)
+++ Statistics Dump +++ (1268304218)
— Statistics Dump — (1268304218)
+++ Statistics Dump +++ (1268304248)
— Statistics Dump — (1268304248)

How do I convert date (e.g., 1263408025) in a human readable format?

The number 1263408025 is seconds since 1970-01-01 and can be converted to a human readable format using the following simple date command:
$ date -d '1970-01-01 1263408025 sec'
Sample outputs:
Wed Jan 13 18:40:25 CST 2010
Your named stats was dumped on Jan/13/2010 at 18:40:25 local time.

More About UNIX Time

Unix time, or POSIX time, is a system for describing points in time, defined as the number of seconds elapsed since midnight proleptic Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) of January 1, 1970, not counting leap seconds. See wikipedia article for more information or refer to man page:
$ man date
$ info coreutils date


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

5 comment

  1. general Unix Timestamp conversion:

    A) in bulk, in Excel:
    Step 1: Put the timestamp in cell a1.
    Step 2: In cell a2, enter “=a1/86400+25569”. Don’t enter the double quotes.
    Step 3: Apply a new format to this cell by right-clicking on the mouse and choosing “Format cells” -> “Numbers” -> “Custom”.
    Step 4: In the “Type” field, enter “dd:mmm:yyyy hh:mm”.

    You can build a timezone adjustment into the formula. To generate Eastern Daylight time, which is a 4 hour offset, use the formula
    Using Excel is the most convenient method if you have a number of timestamps to interpret, especially if you can easily paste them into a spreadsheet and apply the formula to them all at once.

    B) in awk, using strftime

    for example, to make squid logs more readable:
    awk ‘{print strftime(“%y%m%d %H:%M:%S “,$1)” “substr($0,17,999)}’ squidlog > nicer

    This format makes it easier to extract stats for a given day, or hour.

  2. You can also do something like:

    while read line; do
      nix=`echo $line | awk '{print substr($5,2,10)}'`
      see=`date -d '1970-01-01 '$nix' sec'`
      echo "${line%(*}($see)" >> toto2
    done < toto

    To have the log file with the readable date.

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