Python Convert Date to Unix Timestamp

1. Introduction

In Python, working with dates and times is a common task, especially when interfacing with databases, logs, or external services. Sometimes it is necessary to convert a date object to a Unix timestamp, also known as an epoch timestamp. This numerical value represents the amount of time that has passed since the Unix epoch, which is defined as 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970. This blog post will demonstrate how to convert a Python date object to a Unix timestamp.


A Unix timestamp is the number of seconds that have elapsed since the Unix epoch (excluding leap seconds). In Python, we can convert a date to this format using standard library functions, which is useful for consistent time representation and for performing calculations with dates and times.

2. Program Steps

1. Import the datetime module to work with date objects.

2. Create a datetime object for the specific date you wish to convert.

3. Use the timestamp() method from the datetime object to convert it to a Unix timestamp.

4. Output the Unix timestamp.

3. Code Program

# Step 1: Import the datetime module
from datetime import datetime

# Step 2: Create a datetime object representing the date you wish to convert
# Here we create a datetime object for January 1, 1970
epoch_start = datetime(1970, 1, 1)

# Step 3: Convert the datetime to a Unix timestamp
unix_timestamp = epoch_start.timestamp()

# Step 4: Print the Unix timestamp




1. The datetime module provides classes for manipulating dates and times.

2. epoch_start is a datetime object representing the start of the Unix epoch, January 1, 1970.

3. unix_timestamp is the Unix timestamp value obtained by calling timestamp() on the epoch_start datetime object. Since this is the start of the Unix epoch, the timestamp is 0.

4. The output shows unix_timestamp, confirming the conversion from the datetime object to the Unix timestamp.