On 03:14:08 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT, aka Coordinated Universal Time) January 19, 2038 (that’s a Tuesday), the world ends. Well, not in the biblical Book of Revelations sense. But, what will happen is the value for time in 32-bit based Unix-based operating systems, like Linux and older versions of macOS, runs out of numbers and starts counting time with negative numbers. That’s not good. We can expect 32-bit computers running these operating systems to have fits. Fortunately, Linux’s developers already had a fix ready to go.
The problem starts with how Unix tells time. Unix, and its relations — Linux, macOS, and other POSIX-compatible operating systems — date the beginning of time from the Epoch: 00:00:00 GMT on January 1, 1970. The Unix family measures time by the number of seconds since the Epoch.