Ping can print you a timestamp on every line but its in unix date format :(

ping -D localhost  
PING localhost.localdomain ( 56(84) bytes of data.
[1415629479.482938] 64 bytes from localhost.localdomain ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.057 ms

I'm looking for a simple pipe command that can convert them on the fly to something like this:

[Sat 14 Feb 2009 01:31:30 SAST] 64 bytes from localhost.localdomain ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.057 ms

Also I want it to run continuously, it shouldn't wait for the command to terminate before printing results.

  • UNIX time is easier to work with than structured time format Nov 10 '14 at 16:07
  • 1
    @HrvojeŠpoljar well I can't look at these unix times and know what time the pings stopped working, I'd prefer it in a human readable format
    – AmanicA
    Nov 10 '14 at 16:50
  • sure you can; take unix time and put it in command say... date -d '@timestamp' Nov 10 '14 at 16:51

From : https://stackoverflow.com/questions/14036116/convert-timestamp-to-datetime-with-sed

with bit of scripting...

ping -D localhost | while read row 
  awk '{ sub(/[0-9]{10}/, strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S", substr($0,2,10))) }1' <<< "$row"

Runs as

$ ping -D localhost | while read row; do awk '{ sub(/[0-9]{10}/, strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S", substr($0,2,10))) }1' <<< "$row" ; done
PING localhost ( 56(84) bytes of data.
[2014-11-10 16:06:40.145811] 64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_req=1 ttl=64 time=0.045 ms
[2014-11-10 16:06:41.144926] 64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_req=2 ttl=64 time=0.040 ms
  • I put that in a script and replaced localhost with $@; but it prints function strftime never defined with mawk and empty lines with gawk. What may I be missing?
    – Titus
    Jun 27 '17 at 15:37
  • this example works with gawk. I'm not sure what you intended to do by replacing localhost with $@ but if you pass multiple arguments it will likely break because ping command is expecting 1 argument for target host. Can you check if it's malfunctioning with original example which pings localhost? Jun 28 '17 at 10:51
  • Looks like it has been a c&p error. I typed it in and it works (with gawk), both with localhost and with $@. Btw I use $@ instead of $1 because I wanted to keep it more flexible: currently I add -i 15 before the address.
    – Titus
    Jun 28 '17 at 11:10
  • Oh one more thing: What might be the easiest way to get rid of the microseconds part and/or xx bytes from server.? str_replace in awk or cut?`
    – Titus
    Jun 28 '17 at 11:15
  • use this awk awk '{ sub(/[0-9]{10}\.[0-9]{5,8}/, strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S", substr($0,2,10))) }1' to get rid of microseconds Jun 28 '17 at 13:38
ping google.com | awk '/^[0-9]+ bytes from / { "date" | getline pong; close("date"); print pong":",$0; }'

This comes from http://tech.jocke.no/2010/09/27/add-timestamp-to-ping/

It worked well also!


I think modifying the UNIX timestamp given by -D, as most answers suggest, is too complicated. Why not just make your own timestamp and stick it to the front of each line:

ping localhost | while read l; do echo `date` $l; done

You may give whatever formatting options to date, as you prefer.


On another server I was getting

awk: line 2: function strftime never defined

and there is no easy way to install gawk so I figured out how to do it without awk just with date (as per @Hrvoje Špoljar's hint)

ping -D  localhost | while read row; do 
    if [[ $row == \[*\]* ]]; then 
        echo -n \[$(date -d "@$(echo $row| sed 's/^\[//' | sed 's/\].*//')")\] ;
    fi ; 
    echo $row | sed 's/\[.*\]//' <<< "$row"; 

which yields

[Tue Apr 14 12:58:51 SAST 2015] 64 bytes from localhost.localdomain ( icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.040 ms
  • That doesn´t seem to work with dash; throws a syntax error in line 2: exptected conditional binary operator, Syntax error at unexpected word >>\[*\]*<<. Do you have a hint?
    – Titus
    Jun 27 '17 at 15:46

This worked for me on macOS:

ping -i 5 google.com | while read pong; do echo "$(date -j '+%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S') $pong"; done

Adapted from the command given here: http://shawnreeves.net/wiki/index.php?title=Ping_with_timestamp_on_Mac_OS_X

The output looked like this:

2021-10-10 13:23:21 PING google.com ( 56 data bytes
2021-10-10 13:23:21 64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=115 time=83.045 ms
2021-10-10 13:23:26 64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=115 time=39.765 ms

Above solution didn't work for me, I had to modify it a litte. Here is the version that works for me:

ping -D localhost | while read row; do awk '{ $1=strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S", substr($0,2,10));print $0}' <<< $row;done

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