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This question already has an answer here:

I'd like to find out (ideally via terminal) how long my operating system (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) has been installed - either that or the date on which the installation took place. Is this possible? If so, how can it be accomplished?

marked as duplicate by Tom Brossman, Eliah Kagan, stephenmyall, Radu Rădeanu, Warren Hill Jul 5 '13 at 9:19

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If you are confident the hardware clock was correct at the time Ubuntu was installed, you can look at the files in /var/log/installer, specially /var/log/installer/syslog:

$ sudo head -n1 /var/log/installer/syslog
May 27 19:03:08 ubuntu kernel: imklog 5.8.11, log source = /proc/kmsg started.
  • Thanks! Would you mind explaining the command? I'm very new to linux and the terminal. – Rich Jenks Jul 4 '13 at 19:05
  • @RichJenks sudo gives you root (administrative) privileges, because that file's default permissions allow only root to read it. head shows the first lines of a file (/var/log/installer/syslog), in this case only the first one (-n1). I wrote that command for the sake of simplicity. You could've used any tool to see the content of that file: sudo cat /var/log/installer/syslog to show the entire content, sudo less /var/log/installer/syslog to show the content in a scrollable way, sudo more /var/log/installer/syslog to show the content paginated, etc. – Eric Carvalho Jul 4 '13 at 19:12

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