email's time stamp

Norberto Meijome freebsd at
Sun Jul 15 06:19:20 UTC 2007

On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 22:20:51 -0700 (PDT)
gahn <ipfreak at> wrote:

> hello:
> trying to understand the email's time stamps. how do i
> determine the time stamps on those emails i received?
> are those emails time stamped by the mail servers
> originated those mails (in that particular time zone)?
> or by the last mail relay server (in another time
> zone) delivering those mails?
> say some mails originated from one server is in asia
> and final destination mail relay is in europe. so the
> time stamps on those mails are in that particular asia
> time zone or in the time zone of europe time zone?

Check the headers of the mail in question, in particular 'Received:'. . basically, each mail hop will timestamp the email with its own headers, written in a standard format which includes the timezone. I am not certain whether it's always the local timezone that is added, but it is irrelevant.

 for example, for your email to your list, which then went to my mail server :

( unrelated headers removed, only the 'Received:' headers are of interest. I turned the order of the headers back to front - in the email, you'll find them in reverse chronological order

## Received by yahoo's relayer from one of the yahoo webmail servers, email sent from a webclient @ (  Cox Communications Inc. NETBLK-COX-ATLANTA-10 )
Received: from [] by via HTTP;
 Sat, 14 Jul 2007 22:20:51 PDT

## Received by mx1.freebsd from one of Yahoo's web mail server.
Received: from (
 by (Postfix) with SMTP id 06D6913C428
 Sun, 15 Jul 2007 05:20:51 +0000 (UTC)

## received by hub.freebsd from mx1.freebsd
Received: from ( [])
 by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 6A9FD16A407
 Sun, 15 Jul 2007 05:20:52 +0000 (UTC)

## internal delivery in hub... spam ? mailman?
Received: from (localhost [])
 by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 04FA816A49C;
 Sun, 15 Jul 2007 05:52:34 +0000 (UTC)

## Received by from hub.freebsd
Received: from ( [])
 by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 0DE469D35;  Sun, 15 Jul 2007 05:52:34 +0000 (UTC)

## Received by mail server from
Received: (qmail 25760 invoked from network); 15 Jul 2007 00:53:06 -0500
Received: from (
  by MY_MAIL_SERVER with SMTP; 15 Jul 2007 00:53:06 -0500

## Into my mailbox in the server
Delivered-To: xxxx-freebsd at

The actual "date sent" seen in your mail client is determined (very blindly) by the Date: header in the mail content, added usually by the senders' mail software

Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2007 22:20:51 -0700 (PDT)

Depending on your mail client, it may be translated to your local time.

there are other bits of timing information, like at what time did Mailman aprove the message to the list:

X-Mailman-Approved-At: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 05:52:31 +0000


{Beto|Norberto|Numard} Meijome

"A problem cannot be solved with the same type of thinking that created it."
  Albert Einstein

I speak for myself, not my employer. Contents may be hot. Slippery when wet. Reading disclaimers makes you go blind. Writing them is worse. You have been Warned.

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