MySQL: Timezone issue with unix_timestamp()

This MySQL query:
SELECT unix_timestamp('2015-10-01 00:00:00')

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returns:
1443672000 which is at 4:00 am
however I want it to return
1443657600 which is at midnight.

The problem is likely caused by a timezone issue, where a Unix Timestamp should always be in UTC time however MySQL is doing the calculation based on the time zone of the server.
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skijAsked:
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arnoldCommented:
Add the timezone to the string
Unix_timestamp('2015-10-01 00:00:00 -0400')

Or use the TIMezone in the query, GMT/UTC is presumed if absent.
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arnoldCommented:
See also the conver_tz option that includes the timezone .......
Ref the date/time command from prior

http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/date-and-time-functions.html
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skijAuthor Commented:
Thank you but I am still confused.  Your first idea of adding the timezone offset to the string by hardcoding  -0400 is not an option for me because this needs to work reliably on any server independently of the timezone offset.  I don't want to have to convert the timezone or specify the timezone for the same reason.
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arnoldCommented:
Given that restriction, you have to then take into account that unix_timestamp presumes GMT/UTC while the output converting the unix timestamp then should use a non local time converter.

Please the date/time function to deal with timezone handling.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Here is the man page https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/date-and-time-functions.html#function_unix-timestamp   Here is info on setting the time zone https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/time-zone-support.html   Note that you probably have to be 'root' to do that since it appears that it sets it for the entire server.
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skijAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  I will use this:
SELECT UNIX_TIMESTAMP(CONVERT_TZ('2015-10-01 00:00:00', '+00:00', @@global.time_zone))

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