Im am hosting some game servers, and each server instance runs in stdout, but they don't have timestamps, just logging events to new lines, e.g.:

  • player a connected
  • player b connected
  • game started
  • player X fragged player Y
  • game ended


The problem with this is that when the server crashes I have no idea when did that happen.

Is there a way to pipe servers stdout trough some command, and get the same output back to file, or stdout again, but with timestamp in front???


Create a bash script as the following:


while read -r line; do
        echo "[$timestamp] $line"

Call it relog.sh and set it as executable issuing chmod +x relog.sh Then you can pipe through it and it will print a timestamp followed by the original log line. For example, issuing cat /etc/services | ./relog.sh will produce an output similar to this:

[Wed Oct 28 22:34:25 CET 2015] netmap_lm       1493/tcp                # netmap_lm
[Wed Oct 28 22:34:25 CET 2015] netmap_lm       1493/udp                # netmap_lm
[Wed Oct 28 22:34:25 CET 2015] cvc             1495/tcp                # cvc
[Wed Oct 28 22:34:25 CET 2015] cvc             1495/udp                # cvc

Please note that the above script is only a stub; you can (must?) complete it as per your needs.


This could be much faster than a bash script but basically does the same thing.


# Print each line of stdin
while() {
        # Grab the current time
        my @now = localtime();

        # Rearrange the following to suit your stamping needs.
        # it currently generates YYYYMMDDhhmmss
        my $timeStamp = sprintf("%04d%02d%02d%02d%02d%02d",
                        $now[5]+1900, $now[4]+1, $now[3],
                        $now[2],      $now[1],   $now[0]);

        print ($timeStamp, " $_");

Execute as

yourapp | thisscript.pl


$ ./a | ./stdout.pl 
20151028200508 test
20151028200509 test2

Use ts command from moreutils (apt get moreutils).

 $ ls -1 | ts

Oct 12 20:09:27 ts-out.v37mPS
Oct 12 20:09:27 ts-out.vavMYs
Oct 12 20:09:27 ts-out.wd9G1Y
Oct 12 20:09:27 ts-out.ym8aN0
Oct 12 20:09:27 ts-out.zCzWhY

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