Determining System Age

So today, I was approached with a rare question of “how old are these Linux and Windows systems?”  Since we do not have a robust inventory or cms system at work that documents host provisioning/installation dates, I am forced to trust what the system has locally to determine system age.

Digging around the net with Jimmy Google and consulting peers, the best method of determining this in Linux is to  look at the basesystem package provisioned upon system installation.

[jdoe@deadbeef ~]$ sudo rpm -qi basesystem
Password:
Name        : basesystem                   Relocations: (not relocatable)
Version     : 8.0                               Vendor: CentOS
Release     : 4                             Build Date: Mon 21 Feb 2005 01:37:18 PM PST
Install Date: Mon 16 Oct 2006 04:57:55 AM PDT      Build Host: build2.hughesjr.centos.org
Group       : System Environment/Base       Source RPM: basesystem-8.0-4.src.rpm
Size        : 0                                License: public domain
Signature   : DSA/SHA1, Sat 26 Feb 2005 12:31:22 PM PST, Key ID a53d0bab443e1821
Packager    : Johnny Hughes
Summary     : The skeleton package which defines a simple Red Hat Linux system.
Description :
Basesystem defines the components of a basic Red Hat Linux system (for example, the package installation order to use during bootstrapping). Basesystem should be the first package installed on a system, and it should never be removed.

In Windows, this is possible in a cmd prompt as follows:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.2.9200]
(c) 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\jdoe>systeminfo | find /i "install date"
Original Install Date:     9/27/2012, 4:46:47 PM
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