How to get the current time in seconds-since-the-epoch with awk:

awk 'BEGIN {srand(); print srand()}'

@th Works as documented ... I guess ...


Set the starting point, or seed, for generating random numbers to the value x.
If the argument x is omitted, as in ‘srand()’, then the current date and time of day are used for a seed.
The return value of srand() is the previous seed. This makes it easy to keep track of the seeds in case you need to consistently reproduce sequences of random numbers.

@th Wow, it's actually documented that way in the man; so it worked on both mawk and gawk.

@th wild, i love it! I can't think of any other platform where you can inspect the rng seed like that.

@phooky have you seen Guy Steele's "Fast splittable PRNG" for deterministic multi-threaded pseudorandomness?

@phooky the most famous is probably RSA's Dual_EC_DRBG, which allows the NSA to predict the value of the rng seed. blog.cryptographyengineering.c

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