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is there any way to find when the server was built i mean when the os was loaded on the machine..both linux and solaaris servers

sants_pp asked
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Last Modified: 2013-12-21
is there any way to find when the server was built i mean when the os was loaded on the machine..both linux and solaaris servers..need exact date when the server was built
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Top Expert 2007

Assuming your hostname hasn't changed, then on Solaris looking at the timestamp of


will give you the timestamp when the server was installed.


hi smart man,
   uptime tells how long system has been running..but if we rebooted the server after os installtion ..asuume 10 days before..it gives output as 10 days 15 mins like that..we cannot able to determine exact date and time
I think you'd have to figure out a good list of files that are probably stamped with the load time, and just take the oldest.  The /etc/hostname is a good idea, but obviously could easily have changed as well.  Config files for things that are set once and not changed would be a good bet...

On redhat you could check for /root/anaconda-ks.cfg which is a log left by the installer, but could have been deleted by a prior admin.  I don't know if solaris writes an installation log to the filesystem?
sorry for confusing the uptime with the installation date.

i hope this one help , could not try it myself


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Hello Smart man,

I don't think that checking the last logs or the /var/adm/messages files can help us in this case. These files are regularly rotated/truncated ( at least on a production system) -  so the information cannot be trusted.

Checking time stamp on /etc/hostname.* is a much better idea as it is not often that the hostname chnange is made on the prod server.

Top Expert 2007

if you look at the binaries dates in /usr/bin then you will see a common date and time between them which is the installation date.
Principle Software Engineer
Actually, looking at the binaries on /usr/bin is a almost the right way. The key is not to look at the modification time,
which is when the file was written, unless the file is being installed, or restored from archive,  in which case the mod
time is the time the file was modified before it was archived. So, that means that the mod time doesn't tell you when the
files were installed, it tells you the time they were created, at least for the system files, which is not what you want.

What you are looking for is the "ctime", which was the time the inode for the file was last modified. SO, what you want to
do is cd into /usr/bin and then run "ls -ltc". The earliest date on the list is the latest time that the system could have been
installed, and almost certainly is the time it actually was installed.
it is really a should-considered point for the OS makers. since nothing is so accurate. i have seen a workaround solution more accuret for the MS OS. ofcourse that is assuming the machine date was right at the installation time.

maybe a better approach is to try searching for operating duration , as a new concept, rather than the machine date/time stamp at the installation or the up time or any other logs/file timestamps.

Good point about the machine clock being right at installation.  Oddly enough more times than not when I've been given a machine to load I get it loaded up and when I sync the time for the first time it can literally be years off.  Especially on a machine that may have been sitting around waiting for a reload and the battery died and it went back to 1969.
I dunno if such a concept already exist or not . but i am glad to invent it here in the EE if it is not.I think it might be called . accumulated up-time. or operating time as the most accurate measure for such issue. which can be calculated to estimate the real time of installation.

all other work around measurements wont give the accurate timestamp.

waiting for your reply.


cannot able to find exact date.bur aswers are very useful

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