Ruby Convert Date to Epoch

1. Introduction

Converting dates to epoch time is a common requirement in programming when you need to measure time in a consistent and universal manner. In Ruby, this task is straightforward thanks to the built-in methods for date and time manipulation. This blog post will explain how to convert a Ruby Date object into an epoch timestamp.

Epoch time, also known as Unix time, is the number of seconds that have elapsed since January 1, 1970 (midnight UTC/GMT), not counting leap seconds. In Ruby, this can be obtained by converting a Date object to a Time object and then calling a method to get the seconds since the epoch.

2. Program Steps

1. Create a Date object that you wish to convert.

2. Convert the Date object to a Time object.

3. Use the to_i method on the Time object to get the epoch timestamp.

3. Code Program

# Step 1: Create a Date object
require 'date'
date =, 4, 5)

# Step 2: Convert the Date object to a Time object
time =, date.month,

# Step 3: Get the epoch timestamp
epoch_timestamp = time.to_i

# Output the epoch timestamp
puts epoch_timestamp




1. date is created as an instance of the Date class, representing the 5th of April, 2023.

2. time converts the Date object into a Time object. Without specifying the hour, minute, or second, it defaults to midnight.

3. time.to_i transforms the Time object into an integer, representing the number of seconds since the Unix epoch.

4. The output is the epoch timestamp of the given date at midnight. puts epoch_timestamp displays it in the console.