Squid Proxy log timestamp human readable / Convert and beautify Proxy unixtime logs in human-readable form howto


If you have installed Squid Cache Proxy recently and you need to watch who is accessing the proxy and what Internet (website is viewed) under /var/log/squid/access.log /var/log/store.log /var/log/access.log etc., you will be unpleasently surprised the log's records are logged in a weird human unreadable format called UTC as Squid Proxy server does not store the date / year / hour time information in a human readable format.

Squid uses the format:
<UNIX timestamp>.<Centiseconds> and you have to be a robot of a kind or a math genious to read it 🙂

To display Squid Proxy log in a human readable, luckily you can use below one-liner  regular expression.

cat access.log | perl -p -e 's/^([0-9]*)/”[“.localtime($1).”]"/e'

If you have to review squid logs multiple times and on a regular basis you can either set some kind of cmd alias in $HOME/.bashrc such as:

alias readproxylog='cat access.log | perl -p -e 's/^([0-9]*)/”[“.localtime($1).”]"/e'

Or for those who prefer beauty install and use a log beatifier / colorizer such as ccze

root@pcfreak:/home/hipo# apt-cache show ccze|grep -i desc -A 3
Description-en: robust, modular log coloriser
 CCZE is a robust and modular log coloriser, with plugins for apm,
 exim, fetchmail, httpd, postfix, procmail, squid, syslog, ulogd,
 vsftpd, xferlog and more.

Description-md5: 55cd93dbcf614712a4d89cb3489414f6
Homepage: https://github.com/madhouse/ccze
Tag: devel::prettyprint, implemented-in::c, interface::commandline,
 role::program, scope::utility, use::checking, use::filtering,

root@pcfreak:/home/hipo# apt-get install –yes ccze


tail -f /var/log/squid/access.loc | ccze -CA

ccze is really nice to view /var/log/syslog errors and make your daily sysadmin life a bit more colorful


tail -f -n 200 /var/log/messages | ccze

tail-ccze-syslog-screenshot viewing in Colors your Linux logs

For a frequent tail + ccze usage with ccze you can add to ~/.bashrc following shell small function

tailc () { tail $@ | ccze -A }

Below is a list of supported syntax highlighting colorizer:

$ ccze -l
Available plugins:

Name      | Type    | Description
apm       | Partial | Coloriser for APM sub-logs.
distcc    | Full    | Coloriser for distcc(1) logs.
dpkg      | Full    | Coloriser for dpkg logs.
exim      | Full    | Coloriser for exim logs.
fetchmail | Partial | Coloriser for fetchmail(1) sub-logs.
ftpstats  | Full    | Coloriser for ftpstats (pure-ftpd) logs.
httpd     | Full    | Coloriser for generic HTTPD access and error logs.
icecast   | Full    | Coloriser for Icecast(8) logs.
oops      | Full    | Coloriser for oops proxy logs.
php       | Full    | Coloriser for PHP logs.
postfix   | Partial | Coloriser for postfix(1) sub-logs.
procmail  | Full    | Coloriser for procmail(1) logs.
proftpd   | Full    | Coloriser for proftpd access and auth logs.
squid     | Full    | Coloriser for squid access, store and cache logs.
sulog     | Full    | Coloriser for su(1) logs.
super     | Full    | Coloriser for super(1) logs.
syslog    | Full    | Generic syslog(8) log coloriser.
ulogd     | Partial | Coloriser for ulogd sub-logs.
vsftpd    | Full    | Coloriser for vsftpd(8) logs.
xferlog   | Full    | Generic xferlog coloriser.

At many cases for sysadmins like me that prefer clarity over obscurity, even a better solution is to just change in /etc/squid/squid.conf
the logging to turn it in human-readable form
, to do so add to config somewhere:


Logformat squid %tl.%03tu %6tr %>a %Ss/%03Hs %

You will get log output in format like:


18/Feb/2019:18:38:47 +0200.538 4787 y.y.y.y TCP_MISS/200 41841 GET http://google.com/ – DIRECT/x.x.x.x text/html

SQUID's format recognized parameters in above example are as follows:


%    a literal % character
>a    Client source IP address
>A    Client FQDN
>p    Client source port
la    Local IP address (http_port)
lp    Local port number (http_port)
sn    Unique sequence number per log line entry
ts    Seconds since epoch
tu    subsecond time (milliseconds)
tl    Local time. Optional strftime format argument
default %d/%b/%Y:%H:%M:%S %z
tg    GMT time. Optional strftime format argument
default %d/%b/%Y:%H:%M:%S %z
tr    Response time (milliseconds)
dt    Total time spent making DNS lookups (milliseconds)


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