Timestamp Converter

Current timestamp since midnight of Jan 01, 1970 UTC
current local time
2024-05-14 15:30:17
current UTC/GMT time
2024-05-14 19:30:17
Quick Conversion
in seconds or milliseconds
in yyyy-MM-dd hh:mm:ss format
Datetime String
Batch Conversion
one timestamp per line
one datetime per line
Datetime String

What is a unix timestamp?
In computer science, timestamps act as digital footprints, meticulously recording the exact moment a specific event transpired within a system. These events encompass a wide range, from the humble creation or modification of a file to the critical transmission and reception of a network message. Unlike the subjective nature of human perception, timestamps are represented numerically, ensuring an objective and machine-readable record of time.

Common representations include seconds elapsed since a designated reference point, often the Unix Epoch (January 1st, 1970, 00:00:00 UTC), or alternatively, milliseconds elapsed since an arbitrary starting time. This numerical precision underpins a multitude of critical tasks within a system. For instance, timestamps facilitate data versioning by pinpointing the exact moment a file was modified, enabling users to revert to previous versions if necessary.

Furthermore, timestamps play a pivotal role in log analysis, which involves scrutinizing system activity. By meticulously recording timestamps for events like program execution or system errors, administrators can reconstruct the sequence of events, aiding in troubleshooting and identifying potential security vulnerabilities. The temporal order maintained by timestamps is equally crucial. Imagine a scenario where multiple processes compete for access to a shared resource. Timestamps allow the system to definitively determine the order in which processes requested access, ensuring fair and efficient resource allocation.

Finally, the format of a timestamp can vary depending on the specific application. Popular choices include Unix timestamps, which offer a concise numerical representation, ISO 8601 timestamps, known for their human-readable format (YYYY-MM-DDTHH:mm:ssZ), and milliseconds since epoch, which provides high precision for time-sensitive operations. In essence, timestamps are the silent guardians of time within a computer system, meticulously recording events and ensuring temporal order, thereby facilitating a wide range of critical tasks for developers and system administrators alike.

The year 2038 problem

Some systems store the unix timestamp as a 32-bit integer, which has a upper limit of 2147483647, equivalent to 2038-01-19 03:14:07 UTC. All 32-bit representations will overflow and cease to work after that time. In order to prevent system errors, all 32-bit representations will need to upgrade to 64-bit representation. For further readings, please refer to the""Year 2038 problem"" wiki page.