pkg query timestamp format

Andreas Perstinger andipersti at
Sun Jul 14 10:57:37 UTC 2019

On 13.07.19 11:31, @lbutlr wrote:
>> On 12 Jul 2019, at 18:30, David Christensen <dpchrist at> wrote:
>> Here's a Perl one-liner:
>> 2019-07-12 17:28:52 dpchrist at cvs ~
>> $ pkg query %n-%t | perl -ne '/(.+)-(\d+)$/; ($d,$m,$y)=(localtime $2)[3,4,5];$y+=1900; printf "%-50s %4i-%02i-%02i\n", $1, $y, $m ,$d'
>> bash                                               2019-01-21
>> cvs                                                2019-01-21
>> gettext-runtime                                    2019-01-21
>> <snip>
> I tried to add a | sort -k 2, thinking that would sort the output by date, but while it changed the order of the output (no other number did), it wasn’t based on the date column. Not sure what it was based on.
> I also tried -k 2,4 and -k 2 -k 3
> I assume I am missing something bloody obvious.

TL;DR use sort -b -k 2

 From man sort:

"A field is defined as a maximal sequence of characters other than the
field separator and record separator (newline by default).  Initial 
blank spaces are included in the field unless -b has been specified; the 
first blank space of a sequence of blank spaces acts as the field 
separator and is included in the field (unless -t is specified).  For 
example, all blank spaces at the beginning of a line are considered to 
be part of the first field."

So you should notice that packages with short names are listed first 
because there are more blank spaces in front of the dates. Only when 
package names have the equal number of letters the dates get sorted as 
you expected.

Bye, Andreas

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