function::task_time_string - Linux


The task_time_string command is used to convert a timestamp, typically obtained from the Linux kernel, into a human-readable string. This string represents the time elapsed since a specific point in the past, known as the epoch, which is January 1, 1970, at 00:00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The command is particularly useful for displaying timestamps in a more readable format, such as in log files or user interfaces.


task_time_string [timestamp]
  • timestamp: (Optional) The timestamp to be converted. If not specified, the current time will be used.




To convert the current timestamp to a string:



2023-03-08 16:27:34

To convert a specific timestamp (in seconds since the epoch):

task_time_string 1678310854


2023-03-08 16:27:34

Common Issues

  • Incorrect timestamp: Ensure that the provided timestamp is accurate and in the correct format (seconds since the epoch).
  • Invalid characters: The resulting string may contain characters that disrupt certain formatting or parsing tools.


The task_time_string command can be integrated into shell scripts or custom programs to handle timestamps. For example, it can format timestamps for display in logs or user interfaces.

Related Commands

  • date: Converts a timestamp to a human-readable string in a different format.
  • hwclock: Reads and sets the system hardware clock time.