RFC 4880 says that the Literal Data Packet's time stamp is four octets long. Listing packets shows that it is five octets long, at least in GnuPG 2.2.6.

The time stamp comes after the word "created", and is comprised of digits 0 to 9. How can it be read?


:literal data packet: mode b (62), created 1562530941, name="My File"

1 Answer 1


This number is Unix time, which is number of seconds elapsed since 00:00 on January 1st, 1970, the Unix epoch. On a system with the standard date utility, you can convert the Unix time into a date:

$ date -d @1562530941
Sun Jul  7 20:22:21 UTC 2019

You can check the current Unix time similarly:

$ date +%s
  • That makes me want to come up with my own time system--which would be a very Hobbesian thing to do--that started clicking the moment I was born.
    – Patriot
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 3:31

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