With the introduction of Neo4j 3.3.1 it is possible to represent date timestamps in your $NEO4J_HOME/logs/* in either UTC or SYSTEM timezone through the implementation of dbms.logs.timezone

However for prior releases all Neo4j logs will preface each line with a date/time string of the format


for example

2016-12-01 15:51:00.222+0000 INFO  [o.n.k.i.DiagnosticsManager] --- INITIALIZED diagnostics START ---

where the +0000 above indicates the date/time is expesssed in UTC format. Logging in UTC is helpful for analysis when a cluster is defined with members in different timezones. However when cluster members are in the same timezone or you are running a single instance you may want to log in local timezone. There is a pending product improvement to request the date/time string be configurable based upon timezone.

In the absence of this feature, one can run the following Perl script to convert any file from UTC timezone to the machine timezone where the perl script is run.

For most Unix implementations to determine the timezone, if one runs


this will return output similar to

Mon Jan 16 14:38:06 EST 2017

indicating the EST timezone.

To convert a log from UTC to EST run

./utc.pl debug.log > debug.EST.log

To install the script, copy the following lines from here to a file named utc.pl on your linux server.

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use strict;
use Time::Local;  #needed for timegm()

my $file = $ARGV[0] or die "USAGE: $0 <filename>\n";

open(my $data, '<', $file) or die "Could not open '$file' $!\n";

while (my $line = <$data>) {
  # where a line might start as
  # 2017-01-11 23:22:28.372+0000 INFO ... .... ....
  chomp $line;
  # check to make sure the line begins with a YYYY-MM-DD HH
  if ( $line =~ /\d\d\d\d-\d\d-\d\d \d\d/ ) {
          my $newstring = UTC2LocalString($line);
          print "$newstring\n";
  else {
      print "$line\n";

sub UTC2LocalString
  # below attributed to Marshall at http://www.perlmonks.org/?node_id=873435
  my $t = shift;
  my ($datehour, $rest) = split(/:/,$t,2);
  #   $datehour will represent YYYY-MM-DD HH  (i.e. 2017-01-14 12)
  #   $rest represents the rest of the line after
  #   and this will reassemble and return $datehour (adjusted) + $rest
  my ($year, $month, $day, $hour) =
      $datehour =~ /(\d+)-(\d\d)-(\d\d)\s+(\d\d)/;

  #  proto: $time = timegm($sec,$min,$hour,$mday,$mon,$year);
  my $epoch = timegm (0,0,$hour,$day,$month-1,$year);

  #  proto: ($sec,$min,$hour,$mday,$mon,$year,$wday,$yday,$isdst) =
  #          localtime(time);
  my ($lyear,$lmonth,$lday,$lhour,$isdst) =

  $lyear += 1900;  # year is 1900 based
  $lmonth++;       # month number is zero based
  #print "isdst: $isdst\n"; #debug flag day-light-savings time
  return ( sprintf("%04d-%02d-%02d %02d:%s",
           $lyear,$lmonth,$lday,$lhour,$rest) );

Make the script executable by running

chmod +x utc.pl

Run the script as

./utc.pl <log file>

replacing <log file> with a filename.

With Neo4j 3.3 and as a result of PR 10127 the timestamp timezone can be configured through parameter dbms.logs.timezone.


Dana Canzano
Applicable versions:
convert timelog fileneo4j-2.3neo4j-3.0neo4j-3.1UTC