Sometimes you need to debug some Cloud Foundry jobs. One obvious thing to do is looking into logs. Unfortunately some of the jobs that use lager don’t log a human readable timestamp but only a epoch time.

If you don’t use a log aggregation tool that allows you to transform the timestamps you might want to take a look at the following script:


Installing is pretty easy either via

# ensure you are root. if not 'sudo -i'

# copy file content to clipboard and paste in editor
vi /usr/local/bin/plt

chmod +x plt

or if you prefer a single paste action:

# ensure you are root. if not 'sudo -i'

cat > /usr/local/bin/plt <<EOF
#!/usr/bin/env python

import sys
import json
from datetime import datetime

print sys.argv

if len(sys.argv) >= 2:
        # first argument is the name of the binary
        file = open(sys.argv[1], "r")

# not using the following
#       for line in sys.stdin:
# as this seems to use the 'readlines()' method
# which waits until EOF. So not suitable for 'tail -f'
line = file.readline()
while line:
                print "%s,%s,'%s'" % (ts, obj["message"], json.dumps(obj["data"]))
                print line

        line = file.readline()
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/plt


Either stream via pipe

tail -f /var/vcap/sys/log/mysql/mariadb_ctrl.combined.log | plt

or provide filename as argument

plt /var/vcap/sys/log/mysql/mariadb_ctrl.combined.log 

Why not using Go

It would be simpler to write a small Go application that uses lager instead of parsing the logs with python. But transferring a binary is in real life more difficult than copying a few lines of text. Also most Linux distros should have python included even when hardened and being just enough OS.